Black Hole

Black Hole by Charles BurnsI just finished reading Black Hole by Charles Burns. It took over ten years (1995 – 2005) for the 12 issues to come out but as of last October it has been collected into one book.

For those who don’t know, Black Hole takes place in Seattle in the 70s, and tells the story of “The Bug” (venereal disease / mutation causing plague / something) that is sweeping through a high school there.

This is one of the most affecting comics I’ve read in a while. The intertwining stories of the kids who’ve got The Bug, the kids who don’t, and the kids who are going to get it frame the story which also dredges up all the horrible high school crap you’ve tried to forget. It’s not just “body horror” along the lines of Junji Ito, where I feel like he’s just trying to see how far he can go (although there is some of that), but a true Horror comic in the sense that both the mutated kids and what happens to them is horrifying.

If you’re looking for something as depressing as Jimmy Corrigan and as disturbing as Videodrome, you’ve found it. This is NOT a thumbs down. I can’t exactly say I “enjoyed” reading it, but it was compelling, and Burns’ stark black and white art is great as always. Definitely recommended – as long as you’re prepared to keep thinking about it long after you’ve finished reading it.

July 23, 2006 | Posted in: Comics | Comments Closed

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