We love comics around here. Webcomics, comic books, graphic novels, you name it. I remember growing up with so many favorites…Garfield, Family Circus, Bloom County, B.C., Beetle Bailey, Hi and Lois, Dick Tracy and yes, even Nancy. Of course, my all-time favorite comic was Peanuts. I not only read it religiously in the newspaper, but collected the books and absolutely devoured them. I still have many of the books, although they have now yellowed with age. I am just not willing to give them up.
One of our favorite webcomics (we also own all of his books) is Dave Kellet. His webcomic, Sheldon, is my kids Peanuts. I also follow Dave’s blog as he truly loves what he does. His latest project is a feature length film called Stripped: The Comics Documentary:
For the last two years, I’ve been working on an incredible, feature-length documentary on cartooning. And guys… I need your help to finish it.
Working with my good friend, twice-Sundance-nominated film-maker Fred Schroeder, we’ve been flying around the US and Canada in a two-year labor of love, interviewing 60 cartoonists in their studios. We’ve sat down with creators to talk about how cartooning works, why it’s so loved, and how they’re navigating the painful decline of print, and the painful rise of digital. It’s our love-letter to the art form, but also an in-depth discussion of how artists — all artists — are practicing their art in an age where everything is changing.
I just watched the trailer and it was not only a wonderful “blast from the past” but an insiders look into an industry where the people honestly love what they do. Truly a labor of love. I recognized many of the participants as artists that we love (both old and the new): Jim Davis (Garfield), Jeff Keane (Family Circus), Jeff Smith (Bone), Kazu Kibuishi (Amulet), Tom Gammil (The Simpsons), Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum (Unshelved) and so many more.
They are looking for financial support to help complete the film and you can contribute at all levels. You can see the trailer and contribute here. There is also a good interview on the Washington Post’s Comic Riffs Blog.
Just thought that I would pass this on in case there are others out there who, like me, have incredibly fond memories of the “funny pages” and who would like to support this effort to document the history as well as further the discussion of the future of comics. Given how much enjoyment and pleasure comics and graphic novels have brought to my own, as well as my kids, lives, it seems like a great thing to do.
Updated to add: You can find the finished documentary at STRIPPED - The Comics Documentary.