Panther

Brecht Evens, trans from the French by Laura Watkinson and Michele Hutchinson. Drawn & Quarterly, $26.95 (120p) ISBN 978-1-77046-226-7
Suburban schoolgirl Christine loses her cat, only to gain Panther, an imaginary, talking feline friend who can transform at will, in this unsettling examination of grief by Evens (The Wrong Place). Panther’s interactions with Christine grow from impish (dancing until she’s dizzy) to downright disturbing when his own dangerous friends arrive, bringing a darker tone with them, as Christine explores her feelings of loss with these figments of her imagination. Evens’s riot of lines and colors resemble Scott Morse in their symbolic representations and nonsense watercolor layering, which ignores borders. The visuals are Escheresque or art deco or both, thrown together as if in a kaleidoscope of shapes and half-familiar images and colors. When Panther touches Christine and woos her with words, the effect is chilling. A dark fairy tale filled with troubling implications and haunting illustrations. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 04/04/2016
Release date: 04/26/2016
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