Calvin and Hobbes author Bill Watterson is back in the storytelling craft, after a 28-year-long hiatus.

Watterson has led a quiet life since Calvin and Hobbes, avoiding a public career on the coattails of his creation. He doesn’t sign autographs, speak at schools or conventions, and he’s never licensed his characters out for merchandise. (Yes, every car sticker you’ve ever seen of Calvin pissing on some logo is an illegal theft of intellectual property.)

Of ending Calvin and Hobbes, he said “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.”

Since then, he’s done a few one-off comics and illustrations, occasionally chipping in on another comic artist’s strip, but he hasn’t done a large project since 1995. Until now.

In collaboration with caricature artist John Kascht (The New Yorker, MAD Magazine), Watterson has announced The Mysteries, a short illustrated book set to come out in mid-October. There won’t be any of Watterson’s art in The Mysteries, but his fans are looking forward to more of his keen sense of observation and ability to use humor to drive home hard points.

Both artists are awarded in their field. Watterson and Calvin and Hobbes have won dozens of awards, and Kascht has over two dozen works in the National Portrait Gallery.

The book is described to be a “fable for grownups.”

“A long-ago kingdom is afflicted with unexplainable calamities,” reads Simon and Schuster’s website. “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.

Of the project, the description says that 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 will be released on October 10, 2023, and is available now for preorder.

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