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X'ed Out

(Last Look Trilogy #1)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  6,656 ratings  ·  401 reviews
Doug is having a strange night. A weird buzzing noise on the other side of the wall has woken him up, and there, across the room, next to a huge hole torn out of the bricks, sits his beloved cat, Inky. Who died years ago. But who’s nonetheless slinking out through the hole, beckoning Doug to follow.

What’s going on? To say any more would spoil the freaky, Burnsian fun, espe
Hardcover, 56 pages
Published October 19th 2010 by Pantheon (first published January 1st 2010)
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Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,656 ratings  ·  401 reviews

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Jan 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
charles burns has got quiiiite a racket going...

i blame comic book nerds for this and for everything. charles burns seems to think that now that graphic novels have "arrived" on the NPR scene, and literate adults with the love of a good pencil line and a more complex storyline than "zap" or "pow" will still somehow retain the same collectivist impulses of pimply comicbook preteens who buy two copies and immediately slip one into a protective mylar cocoon. he is counting on the collector tendenci
Dave Schaafsma
Since I just read Burns's masterpiece coming-of-age horror comic Black Hole, which was serialized in something like eight issues from 1995-2005 (yup, that slowly), I thought I would return to this second great story, a three volume story released about a year or so a volume. Burns's work might be described as alternative, experimental, hallucinatory, surreal, horror, but while this does not reflect on adolescence, there still seems there may be some ties to his Seattle life. Maybe.

So this was h
Jon Nakapalau
Aug 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A surreal trip of discovered identity...Charles Burns is the master of alienated youth trying to find a meaning in life. There is a kind of suspension of disbelief to all of his works; 'quicksandish' in ability to take you down slowly; very effective in scope. A very creepy work well worth reading! ...more
Sam Quixote
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Before the story even begins, Charles Burns invites comparisons to Kubrick’s 2001 and Kafka’s Metamorphosis with a page of black and red panels followed by a picture of our protagonist, Doug, looking through a window at a vegetable monster lying in bed. This will be an unusual book.

And, with the beginning of the story where a Tintin-lookalike character (the cover’s homage to The Shooting Star is an indicator of one of this book’s key references) with a bandage on his head, waking up in bed, it’s
I did not get this, I'll be honest. I enjoy surreal, but not really horror surreal. I didn't know what was going on and I didn't like the art and I didn't like the story. I see all the reviews and people enjoy this. I guess I need someone to explain it to me. It is not my cup of tea. I'm not saying it's terrible, but it's not in my wheel house I suppose.

I will not be going on with this story. I leave it to those smarter than me.
MJ Nicholls
Feb 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Looking forward to a few more GNs in 2013. Not looking forward to attempting reviews of these GNs. Other than “nice ink-work” and “clever panel structure” I have little to offer to the burgeoning field of GN criticism. This first in a trilogy contains nice ink-work and clever panel structure. And worm-like alien things that live in omelettes. And postironic Tintin parallels.
Oct 18, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2010, comics

The first issue in Burns' next long-form story, X'ed Out reads like a conflation of his own Black Hole moved on to 20-somethings with Naked Lunch (Burroughs gets a direct nod inside) and some kind of dismal-exotic Tintin adventure. It's a real intriguing start, building up unsettling, eye-catching motifs from the first page and slipping fluidly from conscious-present to remembered-past into subconscious-dreamworld collisions of the two. Sort of like the structure of Irvine Welsh's Marabou Stork
This sure is weird.
Apr 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
I find Charles Burns deeply unsettling. When I first read Black Hole, I had to put the book down every few pages, because I would start to feel nauseous. Even with the innocuous panels, just looking at the characters' mouths slightly agape, the bulbous pimples on their faces...it was too much. Now with X'ed Out, Burns goes even further: pig fetuses, worms screaming their way out of meat, lifeless aliens. It wouldn't be so bad if all this grotesquery were in service of something, but X'ed Out is ...more
Oct 15, 2017 rated it liked it
A short, weird book that reads like a drug-addled nightmare deconstruction of The Adventures of Tintin. Depressing and dense, and just a bit too pretentious for my tastes. Burns’ art is on point though; the illustrations are always crisp and viscerally disturbing (when necessary.) While I had a hard time understanding what is going on, I discovered this volume is the first in a trilogy, and I liked it well enough that I wouldn’t mind seeing how the rest of the story played out.
Jessica Haider
Sep 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
bizzaro trip through dreams & memories.
Nov 29, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: project-52-2010
To judge Charles Burns' X'ed Out immediately would be unfair; being the first of a series, it's kinda hard to tell where this one is going. Sure, the first installment always sets the tone, always, for what will be one's lingering, nagging initial impression of it all, the one opinion that, no matter how long and dragging or short and succinct the entire series is, you will never be rid of.

And, this being my first view of Charles Burns' work (I just got around to reading Black Hole), I don't wan
Oct 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
In the tradition of Charles Burns’ past work, Black Hole, comes X’ed Out, again with gorgeous artwork, only this time, rendered in beautiful color. In this new graphic novel, however, it’s unfair to review it because it is the first installment --in I believe a trilogy-- and is totally, completely fucked up in it’s fever dream-esque sensibilities, jumping around from an alternate reality where there’s alien/lizard-like worker-bee creatures, and giant, splotchy robin-color egg harvesting with sai ...more
Apr 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Reading X'ed out is like staring at a Salvador Dali painting. The familiar mixed in with the morbid. The real mixed in with the surreal. There are no linear plot lines here. On no sir. X'ed out is almost manically multi layered.

Starting with the cover, the callbacks to Herge's Tintin stand out. The protagonist is an artist named Doug whose alter ego 'Nitnit' spits out William Burroughs influenced hipster poetry to the accompaniment of recordings of traffic and TV noises. The title seems to descr
Tyler Hill
Sep 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2011
I'm not quite sure what to make of this... in a good way. Charles Burn's "Black Hole" is one of those comics that I always direct friends to who want something that's both visually striking and intellectually or emotionally compelling. It's strange blend of nightmare imagery and adolescent awkwardness somehow manages to be both alien and intimate. And, in those regards, X-ed Out seems like a companion piece... but that's pretty much where the similarities end.

This book, which is apparently the
Jim Coughenour
Nov 15, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
I confess that I don't have a catholic taste in graphic novels. My list of 5-star favorites would include It's a Good Life, If You Don't Weaken by Seth; Jar of Fools by Jason Lutes; most definitely Alison Bechdel's Fun Home; and anything by Loustal & Paringaux. (None of which I've reviewed on GoodReads, for some reason.) But it's a short list.

I picked up Charles Burns' Black Hole a few years ago when it first appeared, and was amazed by his drawing, which elevates into art a style I first discov
May 04, 2011 rated it liked it
As first book in the series this did just enough to make me want to get the second one. I haven't read any Burns before, but I'm liking his style so far. It's creepy and original, but a little too angsty in some places. I'm hoping that the series will move away from the angst and go deeper into the weird.

Les Aventures de Tintin L'Etoile Mysterieuse - L'Oreille Cassee by Hergé The cover of this was what sold me on trying it. I was a huge Tintin fan and seeing the cover of L'Etoile Mysterieuse done in Burns' own style was awesome. You can see Herge's influence thr
Lars Guthrie
Feb 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
R. Crumb's blurb on the back cover says it all: 'It's almost as if the artist...as if he weren't quite...human!'

This is really just a ritzy comic book, the same length as the ones I used to buy for a dime, enlarged in page size, enhanced with gorgeously lush color, encased in hardcover, going for twenty bucks.

It's worth it (easy for me to say, because I borrowed it from my library).

A young man wakes up, at first remembering very little except that he doesn't know where he is. That's because wh
Jennifer Bacall
May 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
X'ed Out is what life would be like if you were listening to Pink Floyd and reading Kurt Vonnegut while living in a David Cronenberg film. It is the first in a new series of books (definately Rated R) by author and illustrator Charles Burns. This is how Wikipedia describes him: "Burns is renowned for his meticulous, high-contrast and creepy artwork and stories." He has designed album covers for Iggy Pop and had a series of stories entitled Dogboy adapted for MTV. The storyline of this piece is a ...more
Althea J.
Jan 18, 2016 added it
Shelves: comics
reserving judgement for when I finish the 3rd book

But so far... I'm in!
I accidentally read the 2nd book before this one, but it's possible that doing so only pulled me in more as I was trying to figure out what was going on. Then I read this 1st book and was like, ohhhhh. Nope, I still don't know what's going on. But I like that feeling of collecting puzzle pieces with the hope that by the end I'll have some understanding of the bigger picture. And I happen to dig the particular pieces I've come
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
I just can't seem to enjoy Charles Burns' work. This book is nice to look at; the art is beautiful, but it failed to grab my interest - this kind of "weird" strikes me as pretentious and dull. The characters are as one-dimensional and lifeless as the ones in Black Hole and nothing really exciting happens plot-wise (which would have been fair if the author was building up suspense but he wasn't).
Jason Pettus
Nov 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
I'm intrigued so far by Charles Burns' new serial outing, which like "Black Hole" promises to be an unsettling mix of realistic coming-of-age tale with the fantastically grotesque, in a visual style here perhaps best described as Tintin having a bad opium trip. I'll be waiting until all the volumes are out, though, before doing a substantial write-up of the entire thing. ...more
Tanuj Solanki
Sep 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 21-century, america
It's crazy how talented some guys are. ...more
Michael J.
I haven't read anything like this since my college years when I frequented a book and music store that carried underground comics, where I read my share of Zap Comics, Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, and Death Gasp. This has the look and feel of those experimental tomes.
This is the first part of a trilogy, and I expect the later volumes to hopefully offer an explanation of what is going on. Not sure if I'm going along for the ride, but I might check to see if the county library has copies of th
Sandy Plants
I love how Charles Burns weaved an absurdist dream-world with the “reality” of life, loss, and emotional turmoil. It’s exactly where I’m at in my life.
Brianne Hofmann
Very trippy. Definitely need to read the rest of the series.
Nightmare hellscape, beautifully drawn
David Sarkies
Apr 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: modernist
A post-modern Tintin
26 April 2014

The main reason that I picked this comic up was because there appeared to be some similarities with the Tintin albums that I loved as a child. For instance, there are the eggs and the mushrooms:

Shooting Star and X'ed Out Cover Compared

and then there are the main characters, Tintin:


and Doug:


though of course they have different coloured hair, and Tintin does happen to have a lot more than does Doug (at least at this point in the album).

Okay, maybe that was not the main reason why I picked up this album
Mateen Mahboubi
Jul 17, 2018 rated it liked it
First volume of this fairly recent Burns trilogy. A quick read with crisp lines and good illustrations.
Sep 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comix-novel
X'ed Out reminded me a lot of Dan Clowes' Like A Velvet Glove Cast In Iron. They both share a creepy surrealism, filled with nighmarish images of beautiful girls taking selfies of themselves in bondage, maggots with faces being eaten, cutting parties, and more.

All this squeamish grosseology is buffered by Charles Burns' beautiful artwork, which never diappoints. Someone said all the weirdness doesn't really go anywhere; she's probably right. Someone else said it's all ripped off from Tintin; he
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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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Last Look Trilogy (3 books)
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