Brecht Evens’ Panther (published in the US by D&Q) was a sleeper for many of the year’s best of lists. The story of a girl whose imaginary friend turns imaginary fiend touches on many deep themes: adolescence, grieving, even the internet’s obsession with cats. Like his previous English language books, The Wrong Place (a lothario on the run) and The Making Of (a pretentious arts festival reveals he cracks in a small town), Panther is illustrated in Evens’ signature can’t-look-away splash of colors and shapes. Every panel is a watercolor original.
In his native Belgium, Evens had an ongoing comic strip called Idulfania, which ran from 2011 to 2012. This is a little cheat for this series of free comics, as it’s written in Dutch and hasn’t been translated, but it’s fairy tale punchlines are pretty universal and you’ll scroll through looking at the astonishing art.
PS: I don’t speak Dutch and have no idea if there’s more to the Idulfania story, so feel free to ad in the comments.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.