From our Continental Correspondent – Willy Linthout missing SPX
The Small Press Expo, which will be held over Saturday September 26th and Sunday September 27th in Bethesda, Maryland, had announced Willy Linthout as one of the main guests of this year’s gathering, along with mini-comix king John Porcellino.
(the poster art for SPX 2009 by Gahan Wilson)
We’ve written about Linthout before on the blog (see here – Joe). His earliest work was published in Wordt Vervolgd, the Dutch edition of legendary (À Suivre) magazine. In 1983, however, he began a collaboration with the Flemish comedian-actor Urbanus, and went on to create more than 130 enormously popular albums that sold millions of copies. In 2004 Linthout’s world crashed when his son took his own life.
(a page from the English-language edition of Years of the Elephant by and (c) Willy Linthout, translated by Michiel Horn, published Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
The only way he was able to deal with this blow, was by processing his reactions to that experience in the graphic novel Years of the Elephant, which was first published in a series format in Dutch by Bries, French by Les Editions Sarbacane and is being published this year in an English-language edition by Fanfare/Ponent Mon. The book won the Dutch Stripschapspenning award for best literary graphic novel (2007), the Flemish Community Cultural Award (2008), the Bronzen Adhemar (2009) and the Carolus Quintus Prize(2009).
Willy was to appear at SPX with the generous support of the Flemish Literature Fund, but sadly we’ve heard from Stephen at Fanfare that Willy has had to pull out at short notice due to health reasons; hospital treatment was required but we’re assured he is doing fine and Stephen is hoping he may be able to do an appearance later this year at Comica (more on that as we hear, of course); the English version of Years of the Elephant will still debut at SPX next weekend, however, so if you are going, do keep your eye open for it. For more information on the Small Press Expo and the Ignatz Awards, please visit the SPX site here.
Wim Lockefeer lives in Belgium, where he’s being very modest by not mentioning that his original articles here on Linthout helped point Fanfare to the artist’s work; you can read more of his thoughts on his own Ephemerist blog.