Calvin and Hobbes’ Bill Watterson Returns with The Mysteries

For his first major work since 1995, Bill Watterson teams up with caricaturist John Kascht to produce “a fable for grown-ups.”
The Mysteries - Bill Watterson and John Kascht

Between 1985 and 1995, Bill Watterson worked on Calvin and Hobbes, one of the greatest and most popular comics of all time. But after concluding his beloved comic on December 31, 1995, Watterson all but disappeared from the public eye. Aside from a handful of interviews and guest appearances, Watterson has kept an extremely low profile during the last three decades even as Calvin and Hobbes has grown in esteem. Needless to say, any speculation concerning the possibility of new work from Watterson has seemed pointless.

But this week, Simon & Schuster announced The Mysteries, a new collaboration between Watterson and caricaturist John Kascht that’s being described as “a fable for grown-ups.” From the press release:

From Bill Watterson, bestselling creator of the beloved comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, and John Kascht, one of America’s most renowned caricaturists, comes a mysterious and beautifully illustrated fable about what lies beyond human understanding.

In a fable for grown-ups by cartoonist Bill Watterson, 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.

For the book’s illustrations, 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.

As evidenced by its cover as well as the few sample pages on Simon & Schuster’s website, The Mysteries is a far cry from Calvin and Hobbes’ vibrant, whimsical style. Instead, The Mysteries opts for a darker, grimmer, more atmospheric aesthetic. (One commenter deemed it Bill Watterson’s Dark Souls, which is pretty cheeky but also feels pretty accurate.)

The Mysteries will be released on October 10, 2023 and is currently available for pre-order on Amazon and other retailers.

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