Willy Linthout, Flemish creator of the Eisner-nominated The Year of the Elephant,published in English byFanfare / Ponent Mon (one of my Best of the Year picks for 2009 – Joe), and De leveling (not yet translated), has announced a new series, called What We Should Know. The book will continue the autobiographical narrative that Linthout started with Year of the Elephant, and will deal with ‘s relationship with his parents and his brothers, and the role that alcohol played in the family.
For this book, Linthout has started from a book that his mother wrote. It’s a real book, he told Flemish comic blog Strip Turnhout, “It’s full of recipes and other things that are good to know, such as ways to sober up as quick as possible. It says how we should deal with herbicides, but also how to bake a chocolade cake, or when there’s a sale on in Greece. It’s really a book of things that we should know. The strange thing, however, is that my mother never used the book. She never prepared any recipes from it, and she never ever went to Greece.”
Linthout will once more use his alter ego Charles from The Year of the Elephant, and will do the art of the book in his well-known sketchy pencil style. The story itself was written in close collaboration with his brother Theo. “The book will be even more autobiographical than the previous ones“, Linthout says, “A writer should write about the things he knows. But then again, I like to mix reality and fiction in my comics“.
The first episode of the book will be published by Dutch publisher De Bezige Bij in March 2011, and the next three will be published in 2011 and 2012. As was the case with The Year of the Elephant, the complete book will later also be available as a collected edition. As yet, no information is avaible whether this book will be translated as well.
(The books by Willy Linthout are published in English by Fanfare / Ponent Mon)