An electrifying graphic novel about the liberating power of the imagination
Jalmari is a bachelor who enjoys his tranquil, unhurried existence. He lives in an old wooden house with his elderly mother, making burl-wood clocks to pass the time. But under this calm exterior, Jalmari seethes: in his dreams, he is a hero, an invincible adventurer who carries countless secret missions. When Death itself slinks into the house, Jalmari’s fantasies violently collide with disappointment 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 graphics envelop the story in a magical ambiance that is impossible to shake.
Katja Kettu (b. 1978) is one of the most acclaimed authors in Finland today. Originally from Rovaniemi, on the Arctic Circle, Kettu’s breakthrough novel The Midwife has sold over 130,000 copies in Finland alone and the novel was adapted into a Finnish language feature film. Kettu’s work has been translated into 20 languages to date.
Jan Andersson (b. 1973) is an internationally acclaimed animator as well as a graffiti and comic-book artist.
“The narrative plays with images and angles wildly. In Jalmari’s frenzied dreams, sexuality and death, childhood and motherhood interweave in a single coil, with a deathly skull lurking behind a pair of milk-spurting breasts. Such imagery can catch readers 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 tone.” – Luettua elämää blog