Brecht Evens · Heads Up!

Heads Up: Two books by Brecht Evens

Available this month from Canadian publisher Drawn & Quarterly:

Here’s the publisher’s description:

The Wrong Place
Brecht Evens

Rendered in vivid watercolor where parquet floors and patterned dresses morph together, Wrong Place revolves around oft-absent Robbie, a charismatic lothario of mysterious celebrity who has the run of a city as chaotic as it is resplendent. Robbie’s sexual energy captivates the attention of men and women alike; his literal and figurative brightness is a startling foil to the dreariness of his childhood friend, Francis. With a hand as sensitive as it is exuberant, Brecht Evens’s first English graphic novel captures the strange chemistry of social interaction as easily as he portrays the fragmented nature of identity. Wrong Place contrasts life as it is, angst-ridden and awkward, with life as it can be: spontaneous, uninhibited, and free.

Full Color, 184 pages, 6 7/8 by 8 1/2 inches
ISBN: 9781770460010
$24.95 US / $27.95 CDN

A short PDF preview of The Wrong Place can be downloaded via this page, but as someone who already owns the book, I have to say, the scans don’t really do justice to Evens’s sharply observed, lushly layered, boldly spontaneous sequential illustrations limned in coloured ink, gouache, and (in places) coloured pencil. Although I wasn’t anywhere near as convinced of irresistible charm of the elusive Dionysian antagonist, Robbie, as his various friends and acquaintances seemed to be, and felt the story was a bit slight overall — it takes about 25 minutes to read all 180 plus pages of it — I was entranced by Evens’s kaleidoscopic evocation of the complex social swirl of urban night life, and immediately flipped back through the book, after reaching the end, to re-examine various scenes. Yes, Evens’s artistic ambition sometimes leads him to force the symbolism of his characters and situations. At his best, however, Evens creates richly suggestive patterns through the organic development and juxtaposition of particular human interactions ranging from intimate moments of inadvertent or intentional self-revelation among acquaintances, friends, and lovers, to grand and colourful gestures calculated to wow crowds of strangers. Fool that I am, I will even go so far as to predict that, by this time next year, The Wrong Place will have been nominated for several major awards for graphic novels in English and will have won at least one or two. And to think that the lion’s share of the book was completed, near as I can figure, in the same year that Evens graduated as an illustrator from Sint-Lucas Visual Arts, Gent… well done, sir!

The Wrong Place is Brecht Evens’s first book published in English; the second will appear early next year from Top Shelf:

Here’s the publisher’s description:

Night Animals
by Brecht Evens

$7.95 (US) UPC 094922048837

Lush colors, wild imagination, and rich human themes collide in the Top Shelf debut of Belgian cartoonist Brecht Evens (The Wrong Place). Night Animals is a deluxe full-color comic book containing two wordless stories, each a feast for the mind as well as the eyes. Join an innocent young girl as she becomes a woman and learns where the wild things are, then follow a rabbit-suited man as his blind date becomes the epic journey of a lifetime. These gorgeous, bewitching tales are not to be missed! — A super-deluxe 48-Page FULL-COLOR Comic Book, 6.5″ x 9.5″

SHIPPING IN MARCH 2011!

Right after breakfast this morning, I emailed my preferred local comic shop to place my order.


BONUS LINKS:

Brechtnieuws — the art blog of Brecht Evens

Brecht Evens Portfolio, Info, News, etc. at Magnet Reps

Comics Comics: Brecht Evens by Frank Santoro — a new interview with Evens, in English, posted 20 November 2010.

Here’s the original pen-and-ink artwork, dated 2007, for the cover of Night Animals

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