For the most part, Bill Watterson's acclaimed comic book Calvin and Hobbes was a family-friendly venture, telling tales of the humorous antics of the title characters: Calvin, a precocious, mischievous, and adventurous six-year-old boy; and Hobbes, his sardonic stuffed tiger. Since the strip ended in 1995, Watterson has remained in the shadows. (at one point taking up painting the woods with his father) While he has published small pieces, he hasn't published anything prominent since 1996's It's a Magical World. Now, in a big shocker, Watterson is not only returning with a new 72-page graphic novel, but the story is a complete flip of his previous works. Enter his new horror tale The Mysteries, featuring highly-detailed artwork by noted caricaturist John Kascht. Simon & Schuster, the distributor behind Watterson's new work, teased the story with the following set-up:
"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."
Other than that, Andrew McMeel Publishing has billed it as a fantasy/science fiction “fable for grown-ups.” But it's anyone's guess how disturbing the tale can go. Judging by the title cover (which was partially used for this article's title image), I think we can espect a very dark tale to contrast Watterson's days of tales from kids and stuffed tigers.
So if you're curious about seeing Watterson contrast his early, iconic works (not just in narrative but the choice of artist) or just like a good dark tale, The Mysteries will be going on sale October 10th from Andrew McMeel and Simon & Schuster at wherever books are sold. Stay tuned!