Peeters’ autobiographical award winner, Blue Pills (2008), ended with him chatting with a mammoth. The fictional Pachyderme begins in a traffic jam created by an elephant in the middle of the road. Out of the fray walks a stylishly dressed woman en route to her hospitalized husband. Cut to that institution’s surgical theater, from which the surgeon, who’s also the director, literally dances away from another successful procedure. Even before she reaches the hospital, the woman begins to see things (alien-looking babies) and when she wanders the building there is more: a spy-type capable of emerging from a pipe in the wall and, in the morgue, the reanimated corpse of an old woman who may be herself-to-come. She also encounters the surgeon-director, who comes on to her, and, briefly, her husband. Flashbacks to her just-earlier life, in which she gave up a concert pianist’s career for marriage, also feature in Peeters’ surreal, dreamlike tale, immaculately rendered in the cinematic realist manner typical of mainstream European comics. What it means exactly is up for grabs, but it has a happy ending. --Ray Olson
About the Author
has been nominated five times at Angoulême in the best book category, and won the best series prize in 2013. He lives in Geneva, Switzerland.