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‘Calvin and Hobbes’ Documentary Gets North American Distribution

Kickstarter backers donated over $120,000

Gravitas Ventures has acquired all North American rights to “Dear Mr. Watterson,” Joel Allen Schroeder’s documentary about Bill Watterson’s “Calvin and Hobbes” comic strip.

Gravitas Ventures will partner with Submarine Deluxe on a Nov. 15 theatrical release and VOD release.

Schroeder wrote, produced and directed the documentary, which took six years to complete and was aided by over 2,000 Kickstarter backers who donated over $120,000 to see the film finished.

“Dear Mr. Watterson” was also produced by Christopher Browne and Matt McUsic.

Watterson retired “Calvin and Hobbes” on New Year’s Eve in 1995, a decade after starting the strip about a precocious six-year-old boy and his stuffed tiger. Since his retirement, Watterson has declined to license the Calvin and Hobbes characters for any wider commercial purposes.

The film features commentary from cartoonists and those working in animation, including Berkeley Breathed (“Bloom County”), Bill Amend (“Foxtrot”), Stephan Pastis (“Pearls Before Swine”) and Seth Green (“Robot Chicken” and “Family Guy”). The film recently had its North American premiere at the Cleveland International Film Festival.

The deal was negotiated by Brendan Gallagher at Gravitas Ventures and Chris Perez of Donaldson & Callif on behalf of the filmmaker.

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