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Coming of Age in Rural Denmark

Coming of Age in Rural Denmark

The Song We Didn't Know Christer Bøgh Andersen Danish Comics Foreign Rights

We had a talk with writer/artist Christer Bøgh Andersen about his new graphic novel The song we didn’t know, a story about family relationships, jealousy and desire.

Christer Bøgh Andersen

Christer Bøgh Andersen

— What is ‘The song we didn’t know’ about?

The story is about the 15-year old narrator Jannick, who lives in a rural area in Northern Jutland with his mother and his younger brother Nis. It’s set in the summer of 1990, and during this summer Jannick starts to see his life and surroundings in a new light. At first not much is going on in the house – it’s peaceful and quiet. The younger brother, Nis, is acting a bit peculiar, and their mother describes him as ‘a loner’. Things change, however, when big sister Karen (19) arrives at the house. She has lived a year in Paris but is back home now and ready to turn the family life upside down. She has brought a new friend with her, Camilla, and Jannick quickly develops a crush on Camilla.

So it’s basically a story about family, relationships and transition from youth to adulthood, a coming of age story, as some of the critics have called it. And it’s realistic fiction – a slice of life in the world of a danish teenage boy. That is obviously a period of time that I know well because that’s the period I grew up as a teenager myself.

It’s also a glimpse into a typical danish family in the 90s. I wanted to show the family relationships to the reader through drawings and dialogue instead of description. I think comics are a great medium for doing show don’t tell, because small details in a drawing can make a difference and hint to the reader about what is going on.

— The story is set in a rural area in Nothern Jutland?

Yeah, my wife is from the area, and we’ve been going to that part of Denmark for our summer holiday for several years. Beautiful nature, coastline, soft hills, lots of space and quietness. So I knew that it would be a great setting for the story. During our vacations, I’ve often been running around and taking photos to use as references for my drawing. Often my wife and children have wondered why I was taking pictures of some seemingly random trees in a forest – but that has been because I’ve been wanting to put those trees in the book!

— How was your work routine on the book?

I wrote the story quite a few years ago before I even published my debut comic book. During the years I had a few people read the script and give me feedback, and they liked the story, so eventually, I felt that it was the right time to do this story now. When I work, first I take the script and do some very rough thumbs, often in a notebook or something. For ‘The song we didn’t know’ I then did the drawings on A3 paper, first sketching with a blue pencil, then inking with a pen and then adding some shadow with a pencil. I did the colouring in Photoshop.

— What are you currently working on now?

I’m working on another graphic novel about an 11-year old boy growing up in Denmark in the 80s. I’ve planned five stories that span over five years in his life, and currently, I’m working on the first story.



1 book
100 pages
19.0 x 24.0 cm



June 1990. Jannick, 15, is enjoying the peace of home with little brother Nis and their mother.

Big sister Karen then arrives with a new friend, Camilla, ending the peace for Jannick. A story about family relationships, jealousy and desire.


Christer Bøgh Andersen Danish Comics Foreign RightsChrister Bøgh Andersen

Christer Boegh Andersen. Danish comic artist and author. Works as an illustrator and communication consultant.

Debuted in 2014 with the graphic short story collection ‘The sophisticated junk dealer’, which was nominated for the Ping Award for best Danish debut 2014.



The Song We Didn't Know Christer Bøgh Andersen Danish Comics Foreign Rights


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