Set in a version of modern Central Asia, Tongues is a retelling of the Greek myth of Prometheus. It follows the captive god’s friendship with the eagle who carries out his daily sentence of torture, and chronicles his pursuit of revenge on the god that has imprisoned him. Prometheus’ story is entwined with that of an East African orphan on an errand of murder, and a young man with a teddy bear strapped to his back, wandering aimlessly into catastrophe (readers may recognize this character from Nilsen’s Dogs and Water). The story is set against the backdrop of tensions between rival groups in an oil-rich wilderness.
Tongues is loosely based on a trilogy by the ancient Greek playwright Aeschylus, of which two plays are lost and only dimly reconstructed by historians. Key to the story of Tongues is Prometheus’ role as creator and protector of humanity. In flashbacks and in Prometheus’ conversations with the eagle and others, the book will touch on humanity’s deep evolutionary past and its complicated prospects for a future. Tongues is both adventure story and meditation on human nature.
Tongues will be serialized in large-format, full-color comics and self-published over the next few years by the artist himself, making it his most ambitious work to date. Issue one will be available for pre-order May 25th, 2017 atandersbrekhusnilsen.com, and will ship August 1, 2017.
Upon the series’ completion collected editions will be published in the U.S. by Pantheon Books and in the U.K. by Jonathan Cape.