Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Years Of The Elephant

Years Of The Elephant is a 2007 graphic novel written and drawn by Willy Linthout, from Fanfare / Ponent Mon. This was one of the four graphic novels I picked up this past Saturday night at Brian Hibbs' 21st birthday / anniversary bash for his store, Comix Experience, in San Francisco (and such a great time was had that the celebration will be on the list of upcoming blogs here).

Years Of The Elephant is the true story of how Willy Linout dealt with the 2004 suicide of his son, Sam, who was 21 years old. As one can imagine with a subject matter as dark and sad as a suicide is, Years Of The Elephant is dark and sad, but it is also an in-depth narrative of the multitude of emotions a parent goes through going forward. Obviously anyone who has had a loved one commit suicide or knows someone who has, will be forever changed and it is VERY hard to go forward with your own life. There's much sadness because that person isn't in your life anymore and you wonder why this choice was made and what you could have done to change what happened. Years Of The Elephant doesn't have all of the answers to these questions as the answers will widely range from person to person, but this graphic novel by Willy Linout and how HE dealt with his son's suicide will maybe help you process what you're going through if you know someone who committed suicide.

The art in Years Of The Elephant is done in an unfinished, not inked fashion, because as Willy Linthout says: "Sam's life didn't get the chance to go all the way, it stays unfinished, so the same goes for my pencils."

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