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Breathtaking debut

The Wanderer

Peter Van den Ende

A paper boat is launched in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It makes a long journey, meeting the strangest of beings, passing between towering mangroves and braving a devastating storm. It sails past a huge oil rig, plays with seals, is saved from sinking by a submarine and ends up at a city, where its passenger steps out onto a jetty.

Wonderfully strange and strangely wonderful, 'The Wanderer' is an epic dream captured in superbly meticulous detail.
Shaun Tan

In ‘The Wanderer’, his debut, Peter Van den Ende presents a wordless spectacle of pure imagination. He brings a weird and wonderful world to life in black and white, a world populated by lush plants and highly improbable creatures. He uses intensive crosshatching and works in such detail that it is no surprise to discover that he spent several years working on the book. His style, with its extravagant flights of fancy and its peculiar cities, is reminiscent of the work of Shaun Tan. This mythical journey is a wonderful allegory of life.

Charged with a current of imaginative power, Van den Ende’s artwork is like an Escher drawing leaning into oceanic and naval architecture.
Publishers Weekly
Marvelously engrossing—a triumph
Kirkus Reviews
Book Trailer 'The Wanderer'
This work is mind-boggling
Brian Selznick for The New York Times

The technical aspect of the work is mind-boggling, especially the masterly crosshatching. Staring at the images, I couldn’t stop imagining Van den Ende, pen in hand, drawing each line, one after the other, creating work that seems to defy the passage of time, and all known resources of patience and imagination. Imagine Shaun Tan having an aquatic love child with Edward Gorey, from a family tree that includes Tim Burton, Salvador Dalí and Jacques Cousteau, and you’ll begin to get the idea … but not quite.