Bill Watterson, the man responsible for a decade of Calvin & Hobbes comics, is coming out of retirement for a new illustrated storybook, The Mysteries, that is set to release this October. Just in time for spooky season.
Starting in 1985, Watterson wrote and drew Calvin and Hobbes, a comedic and sometimes heartwarming newspaper comic series about a young boy and his imaginary tiger, until abruptly ending the strip in 1995. At the time, the series was hugely popular, so it came as a shock to many that he was done with it. In 2010, he explained in a rare interview that after a decade of writing and drawing the strip he had said “pretty much everything” he wanted to and that it was “always better to leave the party early.” Since then he’s mostly stayed out of the public eye and has done very few projects—the most notable and most recent was a three-day guest run on the comic Pearls Before Swine in 2014.
However, the reclusive and legendary comic creator is coming out of retirement for a big and surprising new project, an illustrated storybook aimed at adults. To help him create this book, officially titled The Mysteries, Watterson has partnered with caricaturist John Kascht. Here’s the publisher-provided synopsis for the book:
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.
According to the book’s publisher, Simon and Schuster, the two artists have been working on the book for years in “unusually close collaboration” with them trying out new ways to work and create images, calling the whole process “mysterious…in its own right.”
There’s not too much more to share about the upcoming book, releasing October 10 for $20. But if you hop over to its official page on Simon and Schuster’s website, you can see a few images from The Mysteries. Compared to his past work on Calvin & Hobbes and other projects, this appears darker and more foreboding. The artwork shared so far seems vastly different than anything the famed creator has previously been involved with and that has me very excited to see what Watterson and Kascht have created. October can’t come soon enough!