I posted about Brecht Evens a while back but now seemed like a good time to do it again. First of all, Brecht just won an important Belgo-Dutch comic award, the “Willy Vandersteen-prijs” and secondly, his beautiful book “Ergens waar je niet wilt zijn” will soon come out in English as “The wrong place”. It was already available in French where it is called “Les noceurs”, and a German and Spanish translation is in the making.
The Willy Vandersteen-prijs is new. Evens is the first one to receive it. It is an initiative of the Belgian comics festival in Turnhout, the Dutch comics festival Stripdagen Haarlem and the Flemish-Dutch house “deBuren” in Brussels. It is awarded every two years to the best Dutch-language album (Both Dutch and Flemish people speak Dutch.) and the winner gets 5000 euro and a travelling exhibition about the album gets made. As far as I know it is the most important and prestigious comic award in our language.
Let me take this opportunity to also say something about this “Willy Vandersteen”. Not everybody will agree with me, but in my opinion he is the quintessential Belgian (Flemish) creator of comics. Yes, far more so than Hergé, who is, of course, a lot more famous worldwide. Vandersteen however, created with “Suske and Wiske” (AKA Bob and Bobette, Willy and Wanda or Spike and Suzy) a series of comic books which became part of the cultural inheritance of the Flemish people. Even my mother, who hasn’t read a comic book in her entire life, can quote from the series. Remind me to do a more extensive blogpost about him, sometime in the future.
But back to Brecht Evens… The English translation of his book is due out somewhere in June and I assure you, this is one graphic novel you can not afford to miss. Just take a look at some of the gorgeous, luminous artwork and illustrations Mr Evens makes. Check out his blog or visit the Drawn & Quarterly website.
Remember, you heard this first on Monsieur Bandit. Book of the year, people…