I will be stopping Calvin and Hobbes

Letters of Note has a copy of the letter Bill Watterson sent to newspaper editors in 1995 announcing that he was no longer going to be drawing the cherished Calvin and Hobbes comic strip.

This was not a recent or an easy decision, and I leave with some sadness. My interests have shifted however, and I believe I’ve done what I can do within the constraints of daily deadlines and small panels. I am eager to work at a more thoughtful pace, with fewer artistic compromises.

That last strip still gets me.

Salinger reviews Raiders of the Lost Ark

Letters of Note has a letter written by J. D. Salinger to a friend in 1981 in which he mentions a certain action-adventure movie out at the time. He doesn’t sound like a fan.

I got hooked into seeing Raiders of the Lost Ark, which might be excused for its unwitty, unfunny awful socko-ness if it had been put together by Harvard Lampoon seniors.

03.01.2010Tagged with:    

Slaughterhouse Five

The excellent Letters of Note has a scan and transcript of the letter Kurt Vonnegut sent home in May 1945 to inform his family of his capture, imprisonment and survival of the firebombing of Dresden. As a prisoner of war during the bombing, he was held in an underground slaughterhouse known as Slaughterhouse Five, which would save his life and lend its name to his famous 1969 anti-war novel.

From the transcript:

It was our misfortune to have sadistic and fanatical guards. We were refused medical attention and clothing: We were given long hours at extremely hard labor. Our food ration was two-hundred-and-fifty grams of black bread and one pint of unseasoned potato soup each day. After desperately trying to improve our situation for two months and having been met with bland smiles I told the guards just what I was going to do to them when the Russians came. They beat me up a little. I was fired as group leader. Beatings were very small time: — one boy starved to death and the S3 Troops shot two for stealing food.

On about February 14th the Americans came over, followed by the R.A.F. their combined labors killed 250,000 people in twenty-four hours and destroyed all of Dresden — possibly the world’s most beautiful city. But not me.

After that we were put to work carrying corpses from Air-Raid shelters; women, children, old men; dead from concussion, fire or suffocation. Civilians cursed us and threw rocks as we carried bodies to huge funeral pyres in the city.

Letter home from Kurt Vonnegut, 1945

(via 3 quarks daily)