Jan Andersson
Publication date
Otava Publishing
Format info
136 pages

Back Room Boy

Peräkammarin poika

An electrifying graphic novel about the liberating power of the imagination

Jalmari is a bachelor who enjoys a tranquil, unhurried existence. He lives in a creaking old wooden house with his elderly mother, making burl-wood clocks to pass the time. But under this serene surface, Jalmari seethes: in his vivid dreams, he is a young hero, an invincible adventurer who carries out one secret mission after another. When Death itself slinks into the house, Jalmari’s fantasies collide violently with the disappointments of the past…

Back Room Boy is Katja Kettu’s and Jan Andersson’s dazzling graphic novel about the struggle between the power of imagination and memory’s unforgiving grasp. The compelling visualization envelops the story in a magical ambiance that is impossible to shake.

Jan Andersson (b. 1973; text and graphics) is an internationally acclaimed animator as well as a graffiti and comic-book artist.

Katja Kettu (b. 1978; text) is one of Finland’s best-known contemporary prosaists. She enjoys an international reputation, with works published in nearly twenty languages. An animation director by training, Kettu writes plays, screenplays, and columns in addition to fiction.


Reading materials

English partial
Finnish edition


Praise for the work

”The narrative plays wildly with images and angles. In Jalmari’s frenzied dreams, sexuality and death, childhood and motherhood interweave in a single coil, with a deathly skull lurking behind milk-spurting breasts. Such imagery can catch readers of literature off guard, but both Kettu and Andersson are animation filmmakers by training. Their solid experience in that field manifests in Back Room Boy’s visualization, which emphasizes movement: at times, almost dizzyingly so.” – Helsingin Sanomat newspaper

”Andersson’s shots and angles are characterized by dynamism. I was completely hooked by the images and moods.” – Luettua elämää Literary blog