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Big Baby

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  1,150 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
From the creator of the 2005 hit graphic novel Black Hole comes this new softcover edition of his other masterpiece of modern horror. Big Baby is a particularly impressionable young boy named Tony Delmonte, who lives in a seemingly typical American suburb until he sneaks out of his room one night and becomes entangled in a horrific plot involving summer camp murders and ba ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published February 17th 2007 by Fantagraphics (first published November 1999)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan Philipzig
Aaah, now THIS is why I read comics: perfection, only better... The book's b-movie-obsessed center piece, 'Curse of the Molemen,' is one of my all-time favorites, and Big Baby deserves five stars in my book for its inclusion alone. Originally published between 1983 (in RAW Vol.1 #5) and 1992, the various Big Baby short stories collected here represent some of Burns' earliest work, and many of their themes (teen sexuality, angst, transformation, disease, horror) will later be revisited and furthe ...more
Sam Quixote
Jul 24, 2011 Sam Quixote rated it really liked it
Big Baby is a series of comics Burns did in the mid 80s and early 90s about an alien-looking kid nicknamed Big Baby. They're drawn in Burns' inimitable and unique style, all inky blacks and glaring whites, and show you the early formations of some of the ideas that led Burns to create "Black Hole".

"Curse of the Molemen" is about a neighbour who's having a swimming pool put in as a warped test of his wife's fidelity - will she cheat on him with one of the workmen? One of these workmen teases Big
David Schaafsma
Oct 13, 2012 David Schaafsma rated it really liked it
Shelves: gn-horror
Precursor to Black Hole, his comic horror masterpiece, stuff he did in the eighties that is the most clearly autobiographical work I've read from him, with an afterward that confirms it. Enjoyable, not as striking as Black Hole though there are stories here where you see Black Hole being drafted as an idea. Burns weirdness and humor present throughout. Inventive, sort of bizarrely reflective on growing up strange in the strange and alienating suburbs of the early sixties... These are pieces, sho ...more
May 25, 2014 Andrew rated it liked it
Recommended to Andrew by:
Big Baby is such a cool and convincing character. I have no idea how old he's supposed to be, but he acts like I did when I was young. I believe in his actions.

Blood Club is the best story here, about Big Baby going to a summer camp. It was very similar to my camp experiences (minus the ghost story being real).
Jun 16, 2008 Hillary rated it really liked it
It's not Black Hole, but very little is up to that standard. It is, however, pretty clearly autobiographical, an idea that it's nice to have confirmed by the back matter, in which Burns explicitly says the book comes straight from his own formative experiences: weirdness in the middle of suburbia, bad horror movies, horror comics, imagination at play. All of those aspects are treated lovingly but with a recognition of their weaknesses, and some of my favorite parts of the book are those that par ...more
Christopher Howard
Aug 07, 2016 Christopher Howard rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Alright. I admit it: I'm a Big Baby. But I'm alright with that. Because I think Charles Burns is, too.

And so are most of you.

Being a big baby is bein capable of crying and wailing out and acting irrationally over the irrational nature of beauty and just absolute wonder the world is full of that just about everyone around us is seemingly blind to — so that we feel like shouting, "I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!" but know we don't need to because it's actually everyone else in the world who'
Jesse Bullington
May 13, 2009 Jesse Bullington rated it liked it
And then there’s this pretty little bit of strange from Mr. Burns, a smattering of short bizarro stories that are, I suppose, to Burn’s childhood what Black Hole is to his teenage years. Not as revelatory as the above work, but eh it really isn’t supposed to be. These two really have me revved to catch Fear(s) of the Dark, the animated French anthology film that burns does a segment of. His style seems like it would lend well to animation,
Zack! Empire
Jan 16, 2015 Zack! Empire rated it it was amazing
Shelves: indie-comics
Totally great and fun read. Charles burns has such a love for B-Movies, and trash pulp, and it really shows here. This is exactly the kind of comic I wish I would have had as a kid to stash under my mattress so my mom wouldn't have found it. I can see myself rereading and flipping through this book over and over for a long time to come!
Corby Plumb
Nov 13, 2015 Corby Plumb rated it really liked it
Reading this and Skin Deep to prep for Black Hole. Genuinely creepy comics with enough humor to not be like a total nightmare.
Mar 19, 2017 Reyel2107 rated it it was amazing
a strange inocent !!!!!
Norman Kim
Jan 20, 2017 Norman Kim rated it it was amazing
There's a lot I want to say about this book, but I can't remember. All I know is it's fantastic.
Feb 03, 2017 Erika rated it it was amazing
Creepy and thrilling; fantastic artwork.
This collection of four stories featuring Tony the "Big Baby" is a fabulous display of Charles Burns subtle writing genius and wonderfully creepy illustration style. Tony is a young suburban boy with a rather distinctive appearance, that really doesn't influence the plots much, and an overactive imagination, which does. When he looks around him, he sees subterranean creatures in his neighbor's marital disputes, alien invasion as the secret cause of teenage social problems, and a ghost that makes ...more
Bryce Holt
Jul 25, 2015 Bryce Holt rated it really liked it
I don't know what it is about Charles Burns' stuff, but I just dig it. I love the 50's vibe that he has with his comics, and how dark things can get while still keeping it fairly lighthearted. Despite being absolutely beyond strange and hopping around somewhat senselessly...two more affectations Burns' work is known still has a cohesive feel to it. This isn't something somebody slapped together. This took a ton of time, there's a lot of thought behind the work and even though it will li ...more
Artur Coelho
Apr 07, 2014 Artur Coelho rated it liked it
O surrealismo grotesco de Burns está em evidência nesta visão distorcida do bucolismo suburbano vista pelo prisma inocente mas transformado pela cultura pop de horror de uma criança. São histórias do banal macabro transformadas pela visão de Burns em algo que remente para o sobrenatural dos comics clássicos. Não sendo um trabalho tão visceral como Black Hole, vive do grafismo pessoal do autor.
Mar 10, 2011 Chris rated it liked it
There are some highly amusing elements to these stories, but generally speaking they're obviously meant for short publication and suffer a bit due to that very point. The story I most enjoyed, Teen Plague, seems very much to have been the inspiration for the graphic novel Black Hole - quite possibly the best I've read in the genre in the last five years.

Overall, I enjoyed Big Baby, but I could take it or leave it. I'd rather have read a second collection of El Borbah stories.
May 19, 2011 Tom rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics
This book had elements of the teen plague present in Black Hole. Charles Burns's drawing style is very appealing, and the ideas of imagination and reality blurring together are sort of neat, but there wasn't anything about this collection that really jumped out to make me love it.
Peyton Van amburgh
Jun 19, 2016 Peyton Van amburgh rated it it was amazing
what might seem as a fairly simple, overly obvious idea, is actually pretty complex in its symbolism and subtle meaning. Cool, pulpy stuff that contains a good amount of legitimate emotional weight and fear of the unknown in adolescence, something Burns would focus on in even deeper ways in Black Hole.
Rocco Versaci
Sep 15, 2012 Rocco Versaci rated it really liked it
Big Baby collects the stories featuring Burns's adolescent adventurer. These stories include the fantastic "Teen Plague." Fans of Burns's "Black Hole" should seek this out to see an earlier treatment of the sexually-active-young-kids-get-weird-disease thing. Burns's art/inkwork is, along with Jaime Hernandez, the most outstanding in comics.
Eric T. Voigt
Sep 21, 2011 Eric T. Voigt rated it really liked it
Shelves: fall-eleven
Is this "Up All Night" show gonna be any good? There've been some really great lines so far, but they're trying to be so hip and stuff, and I'm so used to them being HIP ALREADY, so it feels like they've cast this completely wrong. How old are they supposed to be? And the self-consciousness. They do not wear that well. This collection's good! The ghost kid was awesome!
Mar 09, 2009 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
Awesome! Captures what I like to call that "creepy-cozy" childhood nostalgia. I particularly loved the story Blood Club in which Big Baby goes off to summer camp. Of course, I love the artwork too. The rocket ship made from a cardboard toilet paper roll on the cover is pure genius and a true artifact from Burns' childhood. I also dig Big Baby's big bald alien head. Brilliant!
Aug 02, 2011 Ron rated it did not like it
Sadly, the great underground traditions of the 60s and 70s that were fostered by the likes of Crumb and Gilbert Shelton took a strange turn in the 80s: many artists in magazines like Raw were clearly influenced by 50s B-Movie trash. The visual style is discursive to say the least, and the story is nigh unto unreadable.
Jun 18, 2013 Jeff rated it liked it
Big Baby is good fun, bringing to mind classic science fiction B movies from years past, with plenty of authentic mythologies of youth wrapped around the simple but evocative narratives. This isn't Charles Burns' absolute best work, but it's a great companion to the greater works, Black Hole particularly.
Jason Bootle
Jun 14, 2013 Jason Bootle rated it really liked it
I remember reading some of these in the RAW collections. Love it. Retro horror sci-fi pulp about a kid who looks a bit like an alien or grown baby and reads pulp comic books. Very 60s, cold war paranoia, monsters and conspiracies. Wonderful stuff.
Jul 18, 2013 Brigitte rated it really liked it
Pretty good! Nice creepiness to it. Easily digestible because it consists of four mini-stories. I think it's pretty neat that it's somewhat autobiographical. I really like the art-style and how things are shaded. Black-and-white comics are cool. I want to check out Black Hole next!
Vincent Powell
Jun 17, 2016 Vincent Powell rated it really liked it
Reading Big Baby is like watching a horror movie on a funhouse mirror. The stories are these hilarious crystalline riffs on B-movies, with some really fucked-up and dark material slipped underneath the humor. Great stuff
Jan 15, 2008 Abby rated it really liked it
Shelves: comix
The EC horror comics influence on Burns is most evident in this collection of early "Big Baby" comix that were first published in Raw in the 1980s. Great stuff, creepy & funny & drawn with that beautiful bold black line that reaches out from the page and grabs you by the throat.
Oct 05, 2008 Katrina rated it really liked it
Much better than 'black hole'. I really like the main character and the insano bizarre adventures in a 50's leave it to beaver type world. Amazing black and white art. Real attention to dramatic value in b and w.
John Porcellino
Oct 01, 2012 John Porcellino rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
Collection of early Burns strips featuring his wide-eyed character Big Baby. These comics are brilliant, loaded with humor and a love of B-movies, pulps, and old comic books. "Curse of the Molemen" is a classic of modern cartooning, and alone would make this book worth buying.
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CHARLES BURNS grew up in Seattle in the 1970s. His work rose to prominence in Art Spiegelman's Raw magazine in the mid-1980s and took off from there, in an extraordinary range of comics and projects, from Iggy Pop album covers to the latest ad campaign for Altoids. In 1992 he designed the sets for Mark Morris's restaging of The Nutcracker (renamed The Hard Nut) at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He ...more
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