Meet the crown prince of Pantherland

Brecht Evens’ new comic book introduces Panther, a charming feline who comes to the aid of a young girl. But all is not as it first seems in this unsettling but wonderful graphic novel about growing up.

As imaginary friends go, Panther, the star of Belgian artist and illustrator Brecht Evens’ fantastic new comic book, is a breath of fresh air.

Erudite, suave and an excellent dancer, the self-styled ‘crown prince’ of Pantherland appears just at the right time for young Christine, grieving as she is for Lucy, her recently-deceased cat.

Yet Panther turns out to be more than a feline shoulder to cry on – he’s a magician, a trickster, a genius at shadow-puppetry, a big furry cat to both play with and talk to. And talk he does.

Panther2-blog
Panther4-blog
Panther5-blog

But is all he tells of Pantherland true? And what has happened to Bonzo, Christine’s beloved toy dog, last seen making his way down the stairs? As Evens’ tale increasingly darkens, it becomes clear that things certainly aren’t all that they might first appear.

The book is not only beautifully designed and illustrated throughout, but Evens’ take on grief and parental concern, envisaged in Christine’s doting father, makes for some particularly touching moments.

Panther7-blog
Panther10-blog
Panther11-blog

As a book about the turbulence of growing up – and the oscillation between dreams and nightmares – Evens’ treats the subject with care and sensitivity. And in Panther, he’s conjured up one of the great characters of contemporary comics.

Panther by Brecht Evens is published by Drawn & Quarterly (£16.99). See drawnandquarterly.com and brechtevens.com

Panther12-blog

More from CR

CR Annual Client of the Year: Vital Arts

Each year, as part of the CR Annual, we choose a Client of the Year to recognise the importance of a client in producing great work. For 2016, that honour goes to Vital Arts

Senior Creative Designer

Monddi Design Agency

Head of Digital Content

Red Sofa London