FDL Movie Night: “Stripped”
Stripped is a loving and in-depth look at comic strips and the changes they are going through now as more and more newspapers shut down and technology advances. Like so many people, I loved reading the comic strips and cartoons in the papers–it was a huge leap for me as a kid when I went from B.C. and Peanuts to incorporating the Girls in 3-G and Mary Worth in my daily reading. And Doonesbury!! Total eye opener–I learned so much about politics and the world from Doonesbury, about (un)natural history from the Far Side, and about work and romance via Cathy. Not to mention Charles Schultz ruining the ending of Citizen Kane for me in a four panel strip I recall to this day…
Co-directed by tonight’s guest, Fred Schroeder, and featuring the first-ever recorded interview with cartoonist Bill Watterson (Calvin & Hobbes), the film also captures the worlds of Jim Davis (Garfield), Cathy Guisewite (Cathy), Mort Walker (Beetle Bailey), Mike & Jerry (Penny Arcade), Matt Inman (The Oatmeal), Jeff Keane (The Family Circus), Ryan North (Dinosaur Comics), Lynn Johnston (FBOFW), Stephan Pastis (Pearls Before Swine), Bill Amend (Foxtrot), Kate Beaton (Hark! A Vagrant) and more.
Stripped takes us through the Golden Age of comic strips and through the career trajectories of classic comic strip creators, then into the closure of newspapers brought about the Internet. With the loss of print media, comic strip creators must devise new methods to earn income and reach their fans. But at the same time they have lost outlets, the Internet provides greater creativity and a wider reach.
Stripped is a not only a history lesson and an exploration of comic strips and their importance to generations, but also a look into the creative drives and processes of some of the most important strip-makers, as well a lively study in how to adapt to the changes wrought by the Internet. It’s smart, fun and fascinating, and must for any fan of comics and pop culture.