The contrast between creating art and building a community, and passion and pretension, is at the center of this beautiful, ink-wash Flemish import. Set in the fictional village of Beerpoele, the story reveals how Peterson, a minorly successful artist from the big city, is brought into a strange, amateur artistic community. Hoping to make their village a cultural center, the artists of Beerpoele are creating an exhibit for a biennial celebration. Peterson, dismayed at the cavalier attitude of the artists, wrangles them into creating a single big project as a team. But Peterson's leadership style soon has the other artists disillusioned with the project (though never with Peterson, whom they adore) and the impermanent nature of art is revealed in all too spectacular a fashion. Evens's abstract art breathes life into the small, quirky community—as well as city night clubs and art classes—and his washes of color are brilliant. The lettering style, using different colors of ink for different characters, helps establish unique voices. The story, however, is crowded with characters who are difficult to like, and Peterson's anti-hero nature may frustrate readers searching for a likable protagonist. (Sept.).