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Bill Watterson’s New Book: The Calvin and Hobbes Creator is Back with The Mysteries

It was announced this week that the reclusive artist, famous for eschewing publicity and going full J.D. Salinger somewhere in Ohio at the height of his Calvin and Hobbes popularity, is coming out of his 28-year retirement to publish The Mysteries, a new illustrated book for adults.

The Mysteries is a departure in style and tone for Watterson and is described as a dark fable for grown-ups. A long-ago kingdom is afflicted with unexplainable calamities. Hoping to end the torment, the king dispatches his knights to discover the source of the mysterious events. Years later, a single battered knight returns.

The story is written by Bill Watterson with illustrations by renowned caricaturist John Kascht. According to the publisher’s website, “Watterson and caricaturist John Kascht worked together for several years in unusually close collaboration. Both artists abandoned their past ways of working, inventing images together that neither could anticipate—a mysterious process in its own right.”

For those who didn’t grow up spending their allowances on new collected volumes of Calvin and Hobbes in the 1990s, Calvin and Hobbes is a comic strip about a bright and cocky little six-year-old boy and his adventures with his stuffed tiger that appeared in newspapers from November 1985 until Watterson’s retirement in 1995. Watterson is notoriously private, often refusing to do interviews or sign autographs, and in the years since has only done a handful of one-off comics, so The Mysteries is a really big fucking deal.

The Mysteries publishes on October 10 by his original Calvin and Hobbes publisher, Andrews McMeel Publishing.