24 July 2006

Why Merchandising is Important pt. I

If you don't exercise creative control over your own intellectual property, someone else will.

That someone else may delight in seeing your intellectual property pissing on everything from Fords to . . . well, "everything".

I could blast Bill Watterson for being a punk-ass, whiney bitch who couldn't handle success (the poor guy) and took more delight in jousting with his management and syndicator than he did in his fans. I could. Actually, I kind of just did.

Watterson has all kinds of great reasons why he never saw round to licensing official Calvin and Hobbes merchandise. All kinds of great reasons. For some reason, he never seemed to understand the best reason to merchandise a property such as Calvin and Hobbes: The Fans.

Fans want to contribute back to the artists they love. Buying the merchandise is one way to do that. Look at sports fans. I rest my case.

Since Watterson didn't set the tone of the merchandising conversation, we will forever be cursed with Calvin pissing on all sorts of stuff. Hey, maybe he'll piss on Susie Derkins! That'd be cool!

Calvin also prays, in case you haven't noticed. To be honest, I'm not sure which version of Calvin is more insulting to the nature of the character. Calvin never really struck me as the prayerful type.

The last straw for me on this issue was a new version of the old pissing favorite:

Yep. That crazy tiger is pissing on the word "America". Charming.

The problem is a whole generation of people are growing up right now who will never know Calvin and Hobbes as the stars of a beautifully rendered, side-splittingly funny, and occasionally very moving comic strip. To them Calvin and Hobbes will be a couple of exhibitionistic urinators.
Mr. Watterson, if for some reason you're reading this blog, please give that some thought.

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