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4.17  ·  Rating details ·  907 ratings  ·  165 reviews

Brecht Evens, the award-winning author of The Wrong Place and The Making Of, returns with an unsettling graphic novel about a little girl and her imaginary feline companion. Iconoclastic in his cartooning and page layouts, subtle in his plotting, and deft in his capturing of the human experience, E
Hardcover, 120 pages
Published April 26th 2016 by Drawn and Quarterly (first published October 1st 2014)
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4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  907 ratings  ·  165 reviews

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Larisa LJ recommended this book to me on the thread for my review of Beautiful Darkness, because at the end i was marveling at how much i loved the ickiness of the book, and how revolting it was:

but revolting in that way that totally rejuvenates me because i love knowing i can still be horrified.

i really want a sequel to this, or a rec for a book that is as gorgeously repellent, horrifyingly alluring, beautifully dark.

so hit me with 'em.

consider me hit by this one. hit so hard. this book make
Jan Philipzig
Panther by Belgian cartoonist Brecht Evens tells the wildly imaginative yet subtly poetic, beautifully crafted yet strangely disturbing story of a young girl trying to come to terms with various painful experiences. There is the tabooed disappearance of her mother, the death of her beloved cat, and the trauma of what could have been an eerie hospital stay or, as most have suggested, a case of sexual abuse. It's the best graphic novel I've read in a while, certainly my favorite from 2016, most li ...more
David Schaafsma
Nothing prepared me for this work from Evens. I had read others of his works that I think of as art comics, play, including The Wrong Place and The Making of. They seemed to me work more about art, the world of art, calling attention to itself as art, than narratives, which I can't recall that much about now. Ah, but the watercolor art, tending to surrealism, is gorgeous, and fun. One of the above books features a kind of Lothario, I guess, but he's not evil, and some of the tone is a bit snarky ...more
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art, graphic
This was so awful, and so well done.
I almost wish I had listened to karen and Greg and not read it, because now I feel icky.

Also, I think it is this sort of Dionysian supernatural panther

and not a leopard, but maybe someone who read this in the original language can comment on that?
Oct 20, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Panther is the story of Christine, whose pet cat is put to sleep in the opening pages. She is visited by Panther, a magical emissary from Pantherland, who comes out of her dresser drawer to tell her all about his country and get inappropriately touchy. Panther is never overtly abusive to Christine, leaving the reader with no solid evidence of exactly what his motivation might be, but the fact that he’s grooming her is clear even without knowing to what end and the entire book is permeated with a ...more
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
That might be one of the most unsettling books I've ever read.
Stewart Tame
Oct 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Okay, first of all, just feast your eyes on that cover for a minute. Notice how it manages to be both busy and colorful without being overwhelming or muddy. That's not nearly as easy to accomplish as Evens makes it look. Talent, my friends. The whole book is this gorgeous and then some.

So a little girl, Christine, is sad when her cat dies. And then a colorful panther crawls out of the bottom drawer of her dresser. He tells her that he is the crown prince of Pantherland, a seemingly magical place
Elizabeth A
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, graphix, translated
Christine is a young girl who lives with a her father, and when her cat Lucy dies, Christine is grief stricken. In the midst of her grief, something magical happens: a panther pops out of her dresser and tells her that he is crown prince of Pantherland.

Sounds like a sweet story right? Well, it starts out that way indeed, but then this graphic novel starts to take on sinister tones that are quite unsettling. Panther is a master storyteller and manipulator, and he soon has Christine totally enthr
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic
I want to live in Brecht Evens' creepy, beautiful world.

Also, why is the title misspelled?
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars -- PANTHER is one of the strangest, and indeed unsettling, graphic novels I've encountered. The imagery itself is incredible. The panther never looks the same way twice, constantly shapeshifting in a dreamlike way, and frequently resembling another animal entirely. There are also a ton of little references and familiar imagery hidden throughout the book, such as the upstairs carpet in the girl's home which is lifted directly from The Shining.

The story can be read and interpreted in a v
Maggie Gordon
The art in this volume is absolutely stunning. Evens goes through a variety of styles of panther, and his illustrations are vivid and fluid. He captures motion exceptionally well, and his use of colour adds much to the emotional appeal of the book.

The story on the other hand... I had a hard to putting my finger on the story as it was rather abstract. There are books were I appreciate the narrative being hard to unpack (see: Beautiful Darkness), but I felt like Evens was being just abstruse enoug
Ariel Wiborn
Nov 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was book 5 of my Top Horror comics short list (, and I am certainly unsettled. It's a quiet discomfort and slight sickness after reading this. Why? I think it's all the implications that are left to the imagination, all the things that humans do, but are thrown into animal form for this graphic novel. Well done, but I'm definitely the worse for it.
I didn't know what this book was about. I picked it up because of the gorgeous illustrations. So I sat down and started reading it with my 7-year-old daughter. It starts as a sad story, so I thought, "this book was made to help children cope with loss." Then the story becomes whimsical, with a shape-shifting panther that is quite funny. Initially. But he's also unhinged. And then he lies. And becomes violent. And the little girl's Dad is creepy. And soon an undercurrent of sexual abuse sets in. ...more
Sehr gruselig!
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
SO GOOD. Good and terrifying and psychedelic and menacing and fascinating. Definitely for weirdos who like DeForge, Jacobs, and Vehlmann.
Lacey Louwagie
Around the Year Reading Challenge Item #50: A book originally written in a language other than English

Yes, this is a deeply unsettling book.

The artwork is garish and creepy, nightmare-like, really. There is far more going on than either the cluttered, overlapping images or the text will say. There are no easy answers, and ultimately I gave this book four stars instead of five because I was left with a few TOO MANY questions. (view spoiler)
This is not the right book to follow a "Black Panther" collection.
The word that keeps coming to mind about this book is "upsetting." You can't help but be affected by this beautifully illustrated story about the difficulties of childhood in the wake of traumas. Like any book about a child and her pretend friends, there's a hint of the disturbing, the violent.
From Panther's first appearance in Christine's life he's playful, but always menacing. An imaginary playmate always is the repository of a
Derek Royal
May 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great book! I've been meaning to get to Brecht Evens's work for some time, and our recent review of Panther on The Comics Alternative was the impetus I needed. You can hear our discussion at
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
creo que voy a tener pesadillas.
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I held off on writing a review for this one because I felt like I really needed to read it again before I could do it justice talking about it- but life is getting in the way.🤷🏽♀.

I went in Knowing that this wasn’t a children’s book (that seems to be the opposite case with many peoples reviews). But I knew early on before I bought the book, I got it because of the interesting drawings and colors. The illustrations really piqued my interest and I wanted to see “what it was all about”.

I wasn’t ne
I went looking for interviews bc I wanted to know why a man would write this book (a book on child sexual abuse that’s purposefully obscure) and found this:

“Bad Friends,” is indeed the progenitor of Panther. “Bad Friends” is at the same time rougher (the girl menstruates and her body changes in a few seconds time, She gets dragged out of her room by a Satyr, her clothes are stripped off and she’s body painted..) and much lighter, more of a parable, since there’s no text and no slow, tense manipu
Oct 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: of-comics
Two things:
1. You will enjoy this more if you do not read reviews containing reader reactions or plot summaries beforehand. Just stop, you'll spoil your enjoyment of it. This applies to all books, but this one particularly so. Don't read the bottom of this review till you are finished.

2. Like Evens's other works, I think this book is for adults, not for children. This is really very good, but I advise you read it first before gifting it or making a book club suggestion.

That is all you need to kn
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: atmosphere
Beautiful artwork with horribly sinister undertones. This book is so subtle that at first, you don't even realize what is happening. When you do, it's too late. Fair warning, if you're looking for a fun and happy book, this isn't it.
Tras enamorarme de Evens con En un lugar equivocado y Los entusiastas, me sorprendió lo fría que me dejó Pantera. Tuve la sensación de que ese estilo, que tan fresco y original me pareció en las dos obras indicadas, se viciaba, se perfeccionaba tanto que perdía esencia. Por otro lado la historia no me resultó cautivadora, ahí están los miedos y las angustias de una niña que capea con las tragedias de la vida, y esa Pantera moteada que a ojos vista se convierte en algo incómodo, tal y como ella v ...more
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Of brrrrrrrr... ???
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is one of those books that is so incredibly hard to rate. It has so many things going for it, but the story. Oh, the story. Those that have a difficult time with with trauma, particularly when linked with children, may have to avoid this one altogether. Learning more about it may help soften the blow, but from personal experience I can tell you it’s not by much. I’m not going to give any more details about it because, like I said, this book can produce quite the emotional reaction that I do ...more
Christoph Segers
Het tweede boek van Brecht Evens dat ik las en een even grote meevaller als 'De Liefhebbers', al is het compleet anders van inhoud. De tekeningen zijn, buiten kijf, fantastisch. Op hoeveel verschillende manieren Evens de panter tekent is fenomenaal. Het verhaal is surrealistisch en begint erg kinderlijk, ontwapenend. De fantasie van het meisje die geprojecteerd wordt op de panter en het gesprek tussen hen beiden is sterk in zijn realisme van hoe kinderen denken in hun spel. Maar naarmate het ver ...more
L.R. Diaz
Sep 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Great style. A little too distracting for me. I couldn't get passed the first few dozen pages before I just began to look at the artwork separate from the words which meant I was no longer focused on the story which I think is not good. I think sometimes painted works don't read as well as black and white pen & ink work like Daniel Clowes as an example. I think it's because when it's in black and white it's closer to reading type. Imagine reading an entire book with different colored type. T ...more
Oct 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Let's be clear- this is not "5 stars because this brought me joy"- it is "5 stars because it disturbed me so effectively." The artwork in here is thoughtfully executed and gorgeous; the story is subtly terrifying and dreadful and made me doubt myself; like "Did... No, that can't be what is really going on, is it? Surely I'm being overly sensitive...?" And then you read enough other reviews and you realize that, yes, that's EXACTLY what other people also believe was going on and you feel all quea ...more
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Flemish cartoonist Brecht Evens was born in 1986 and studied illustration in Ghent, Belgium. His prizewinning debut comic book A Message from Space was released in 2005, followed by several other books including Vincent (2006) and The Wrong Place (2009), which recently won the Haarlem Comic Festival's Willy Vandersteen Award for best Dutch-language graphic novel. You can follow him online at http: ...more
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