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The Mysteries

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It’s possible that Watterson quit because he tired of the demanding work, or because he’d said all he had to say, or because he was worn out by the legal battles over his characters. The New Yorker may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. You've seen Kascht's work in most major national magazines and two dozen of his works are in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington.

The woods, the streams, the snowy hills the friends career off—the natural world is a space as enchanted and real as Hobbes himself.

Some of the illustrations appear to be photographs of small clay sculptures alongside elements composed in graphite and maybe paint—but the materials aren’t specified. And he’d probably be the only one who stopped publishing his work after a comparatively compact run of productivity.

Now we both read the nearly comic-free online news instead of the material papers, into which, Watterson has said, “little jokes” were placed as a respite from “atrocities described in the rest of the newspaper.A long time passes, but finally those mysteries are found, the world domesticates a lot of them—in fact far too many of them—and the planet begins to change. Herriman, born in the nineteenth century in New Orleans to a mixed-race family, often presented himself, in his adult life, as Greek. The general theme of the art is that people are rendered in very sharp, almost photorealistic, detail, while everything else is blurred and vague and obscured. I may have to, and am completely willing to, sit with the book a bit longer to see if my initial view changes. I've been a fan of Bill Watterson's work since Calvin and his tiger Hobbes debuted just before Thanksgiving in 1985 and I mourned with millions a decade later when Watterson ended the award-winning series.

I can openly admit I bought this solely because of Bill Watterson's name (and John Kascht certainly only adds to the hype).

Words appear on the left page of each spread: one or two sentences in black, surrounded by a field of white. Hopefully it won't take him another 30 years to follow this up with a Jazz record, a contemporary art exhibition, or a performance piece at the MoMA. It ultimately is kinda slight, but it does point to interesting new directions should Watterson continue releasing his work, unlikely as that may be.

I’m also reminded of the strip in which Hobbes says, “I suppose if we couldn’t laugh at things that don’t make sense, we couldn’t react to a lot of life. It’s also kin to the ancient story of Prometheus, a myth we now associate with technological advancements. Now, I’ll put The Mysteries in the Little Free Library outside of my house in the hopes that someone else will go on a journey of their own. The characters in “Krazy Kat” also didn’t age or really change much: Krazy Kat is a black cat forever in love with Ignatz, a white mouse who serially hits Krazy with bricks, an action that Krazy misinterprets as a sign of love.As something you could spend time with your child discussing what they think it means it might be a little better. It's also a lovely gift book bound in a stark cloth cover with a glossy illustration inset on both front and back covers. Watterson is known for his views on licensing and comic syndication, as well as for his reclusive nature. The brief black-and-white weekday strips of “Calvin and Hobbes” often feel as whole as the epic Sunday ones. With The Mysteries, Watterson and Kascht share the fascinating genesis of their extraordinary collaboration in a video that can be viewed on Andrews McMeel Publishing's YouTube page.

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