Brand New Art from Calvin and Hobbes Creator Bill Watterson!

Well here's an unexpected surprise: Bill Watterson, long-retired creator of Calvin of Hobbes, was so impressed with Strippeda new feature documentary that invites some of the biggest names in comics "to talk about the art form they love, and what happens to it as newspapers die" – that he agreed to provide the art for the film's poster.

Stripped – the preview for which appears above – is a "love-letter" to the art form of cartooning, the brainchild of co-directors Dave Kellett (of Sheldon and Drive) and Fred Schroeder. The duo conducted over 90 interviews with some of the industry's biggest names to understand the once, current, and future landscape of comics, and how that landscape stands to transform as more people turn to the web for content. The list of interviewees includes more than 70 big-name print- and web-based cartoonists, including Zach Weiner (SMBC), Bill Amend (Foxtrot), Jim Davis (Garfield), Kate Beaton (Hark! A Vagrant) and, in his first-ever audio interview, Bill Watterson (check out the entire list of interviewees here). The full version of Watterson's poster art appears below:

Brand New Art from Calvin and Hobbes Creator Bill Watterson!

"In the right hands," Watterson says, in a sound byte that Kellett and Schroeder use to open the documentary's newly released trailer, "a comic strip attains a beauty and an elegance that really I would put against any other art."

That Watterson would lend his voice to the movie had us pretty excited for its release. That he was so taken with the end product that he leant it his pen has us pretty much out of our minds with anticipation. Stripped will be available for advance ordering on iTunes at midnight tonight. DVD goes on sale April 2nd.

[Stripped via The New York Times]