Big Questions creator Anders Nilsen has announced his next project, Tongues — a retelling of the Greek myth of Prometheus.
“The book is a mash-up of many things,” Nilsen writes on his website. “It’s an adventure story, set in the modern Middle East, it is based on Greek myth in part, but is also about human nature and origins, revenge and murder, politics and religion. And it brings back a character from the first real book I ever put out.”
The character he mentions is “a young man with a teddy bear strapped to his back, wandering aimlessly into catastrophe,” who appeared in Dogs and Water.
If you’re familiar with the story of Prometheus, then you know he was chained to a rock after giving fire to us mere mortals; Zeus then sent an eagle to eat his liver every day. Nilson says this book will explore the friendship that develops between Prometheus and this eagle.
“What would they talk about for all those centuries? What kind of a weird relationship would that be?” he asks. “I did a little reading about the ancient Greek plays our story of Prometheus comes from – a trilogy by Aeschylus – and there’s a lot of pretty great stuff there on the one hand… and then it turns out that two of the three plays are actually lost and only dimly reconstructed by historians. So the story is ripe for interpretation.”
Chapter one will be available in August (you can preorder it here). The story will be serialized in large-format, full-color comics and self-published over the next few years, then eventually collected by, appropriately, Pantheon Books.