By Brecht Evans. Published by Drawn & Quarterly.
Hardcover, 336 pages, Colour, 2018.
AN EXQUISITELY DRAWN EXPLORATION OF THREE LOST SOULS’ EMOTIONAL TERRAIN
As night falls in the City of Belgium, three strangers in their late twenties—a most dangerous age—arrive at a popular restaurant. Jona is about to move away; he calls his wife, who’s already settled in Berlin, before trying to make plans with friends for one last night on the town. No one bites—they’re all busy or maybe they just don’t want to party—but he’s determined to make this night something to remember. Victoria is lively and energetic, but surrounded by friends and family who are buzzkills, always worrying about what is best for her. Rodolphe glumly considers his own misery and then suddenly snaps out of it, becoming the life of the party. The three careen through the city’s nightlife spots and underbelly, getting ever deeper in the messiness of human existence as they chase pleasure—or at least a few distractions from their daily lives. Each has a series of misadventures that reveal them to be teetering on the edge of despair, of destruction, of becoming the people they’ll be for the rest of their lives. The City of Belgium occupies a place between lucid dream and tooth-grinding nightmare.
Praise for The City of Belgium
Through it all, the city itself looms as a character, seething with alluring colors and nightclub denizens on the prowl, and the promise of salvation (or damnation)... Fans of Olivier Schrauwen and other... avant-garde comics will be amply rewarded.Publishers Weekly
Put simply, it’s a trip... After reading The City of Belgium, I felt hungover — that’s how much this graphic novel will affect you.Dan Brown, Calgary Herald
The City of Belgium delivers its readers an entrancing one-night stand in a city of wondrous beauty and lonely people. Astonishing and moving in equal turns, this is a comic not to be missed.ComicBook.Com
To open a new book like The City of Belgium by Brecht Evens is the equivalent of breaking out a bottle of fine wine: It marks a special occasion, warrants careful consideration, and is best savoured slowly... It is a bit like magic, just one more addition to a body of work that has only grown stronger since The Wrong Place made him famous over a decade ago.Broken Frontier
Evens' eye-popping art and unexpected story mimic the feel of a wild night out, with readers never anticipating his next page.Booklist