Gphatty's Reviews > Black Hole

Black Hole by Charles Burns
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Mar 18, 08

Read in March, 2008

Burns is an amazing artist. His ability to convey time and emotion with his art in unbelievably good. I would almost recommend this book to anyone that needs proof of the power graphic novels can have . . .

but this story will probably be too disturbing for many people. A virus that gives people disfiguring mutations. Said virus is communicable through sex. All the main characters are teens dealing with identity crises, sex, and drugs. The story goes from frank and unflinching to horrific and ghastly to unexpectedly sexually arousing -- often within the same chapter. To Burns' credit, the story keeps you going, and some of the bewilderment I experienced while reading "Black Hole" may have been purposeful. (It's not hard to imagine that the world of hormone-addled teens that experiment with hallucigenics might be a little confusing . . .)

But it's a tough, challenging read. There were moments when I read the story as an allegory of the alienation a teen begins to experience as they take those steps towards adulthood. But even if the virus motif is supposed to be taken literally, the overall story is still very good.

Not for teens, though. I can't imagine a teen being able to process all of the stuff Burns does without feeling more fucked up at the end. Of course, they might enjoy that.
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