Finally, new work from "Calvin & Hobbes's" Bill Watterson: The graphic novel "The Mysteries"

When cartoonist Bill Watterson ended his legendary comic strip "Calvin and Hobbes" in 1995, his many fans wondered what project he would take on next. But aside from some an illustration or piece of writing here and there, and landscape paintings that he doesn't reveal publicly (he said of the paintings, "It's all catch and release – just tiny fish that aren't really worth the trouble to clean and cook."), he has produced no significant work.

Until now, 28 years later. His new book "The Mysteries" is a graphic novel he created in collaboration with artist John Kascht. (Unless… could it be that Kascht is an imaginary friend?)

Watterson wrote the story and text about ten years ago, and in recent years worked with Kascht to create the eerie and evocative illustrations. Here is a video explaining their laborious collaboration, with the reclusive Bill Watterson actually speaking, if not fully shown on camera!

The book seems to be almost designed to be a radical departure from his bright "Calvin and Hobbes" cartooning work. It's an adult fable about fear, superstition, religion, science, technology, and the nature of reality, with dark, ominous illustrations.

Screengrab: Andrews McMeel Publishing /

As Calvin said, "I think night time is dark so you can imagine your fears with less distraction."

The book is really more of an adult picture book than a graphic novel; it will take only a few minutes to read. The illustrations are remarkable, and the story, about mysteries, is a powerful and gorgeous mystery itself.

It's a beautiful piece of art to read and hold, and I feel lucky to finally see what new direction Watterson's passion has taken him.