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Years of the Elephant


Years of the Elephant


Years of the Elephant is sad. Infinitely sad. It’s the unfortunately true story of the suicide of Willy Linthout’s son and the resulting toll it ends up taking on both him and his wife. As such, it’s incredibly difficult to get through, yet remarkably good. It’s a journey we don’t want to go on, and yet Linthout is so deftly good that we want to embark on it…for his sake and for ours.
Linthout has been perhaps best known for his work on Urbanus before this. And perhaps that comic background informs some of the work here, which often takes a surreal turn as he attempts to make sense of his new world without a son. Linthout and his wife deal with the news and the ongoing sadness in much different ways, and the split is palpable.

Years begins with the parents receiving the sad news from the police. Their son, just 21 years old, had jumped from the roof and his body was on the street below. His parents were unaware, but the chalk outline outside their building will speak volumes of pain and sadness to them when they attempt to leave. The chalk outline becomes the representation of his son for Linthout in this work, a reminder of the power of graphic books. Here, in this simple drawing, is a perfect representation of the power of the graphic form: how art and story combined can tell a truly transforming story.

Reviewed by John Hogan on January 1, 2010

Years of the Elephant
by Willy Linthout

  • Publication Date: January 1, 2010
  • Genres: Graphic Novel
  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Ponent Mon S.L.
  • ISBN-10: 8492444304
  • ISBN-13: 9788492444304