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Calvin & Hobbes creator returns after 28 years with illustrated book ‘for grown-ups’

Bill Watterson’s The Mysteries arrives this October

hobbes and calvin read a book Image: Bill Watterson/Andrews McMeel Publishing
Petrana Radulovic is an entertainment reporter specializing in animation, fandom culture, theme parks, Disney, and young adult fantasy franchises.

Bill Watterson, the cartoonist best known for the iconic Calvin and Hobbes comics, has come out of retirement for a new book.

Titled The Mysteries, the official synopsis on the Simon and Schuster website describes the illustrated book as “fable for grown-ups” that takes place in a kingdom where disasters keep happening. The king of the realm sends out a team of knights to investigate, but only one returns years later. The Mysteries is a partnership between Watterson and caricaturist John Kascht.

According to the book’s description, Watterson and 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.”

The Mysteries cover art and interior illustrations from the 72-page book show a direction that looks quite different from Calvin and Hobbes.

Watterson drew and wrote Calvin and Hobbes from 1985 to 1995. The comic strip follows a mischievous and precocious young boy named Calvin and his stuffed tiger buddy Hobbes. Watterson typically stays away from the public eye, refusing to sign autographs or license his characters. But in 2010, for the 15th anniversary of the last Calvin and Hobbes strip, he spoke to The Plain Dealer about his decision to end the strip, saying, “By the end of ten years, I’d said pretty much everything I had come there to say. It’s always better to leave the party early.”

While Watterson has done a few one-off comics and illustrations since Calvin and Hobbes ended — most notably a three-day takeover of Stephen Pastis’ Pearls Before Swine in 2014 — The Mysteries marks his first big project since.

The Mysteries is set to be released on Oct. 10. Check out the Simon and Schuster website for more details.