Thursday, June 6, 2013

Review Black Hole by: Charles Burns

Title: Black Hole
Author: Charles Burns
Publisher: Pantheon
Pages: 352
Purchase: Barnes and Noble | Amazon


Suburban Seattle, the mid-1970s. We learn from the out-set that a strange plague has descended upon the area’s teenagers, transmitted by sexual contact. The disease is manifested in any number of ways — from the hideously grotesque to the subtle (and concealable) — but once you’ve got it, that’s it. There’s no turning back.

As we inhabit the heads of several key characters — some kids who have it, some who don’t, some who are about to get it — what unfolds isn’t the expected battle to fight the plague, or bring heightened awareness to it , or even to treat it. What we become witness to instead is a fascinating and eerie portrait of the nature of high school alienation itself — the savagery, the cruelty, the relentless anxiety and ennui, the longing for escape.

And then the murders start.

As hypnotically beautiful as it is horrifying, Black Hole transcends its genre by deftly exploring a specific American cultural moment in flux and the kids who are caught in it- back when it wasn’t exactly cool to be a hippie anymore, but Bowie was still just a little too weird. 

To say nothing of sprouting horns and molting your skin…

My Thoughts: 

Charles Burns brings a very different perspective to everyday problems that most teens are still facing to this day…

“Black Hole” is one of the very few comic books I’ve read in my life. This is why I can’t talk about it as a comic book but as a story only…

“Black Hole” is the story of a group of teenagers living in Seattle in the 70’s. Due to a sexually-transmitted disease, they start to mutate: both physically and psychologically. As a result, they’re excluded from society by their families and friends. They start to live in the forest in tents; they go out at night and stay out of sight during daylight.

“Black Hole” deals with problems we’ve all faced as teens: struggling to be popular and successful in school, getting the guy/girl we want, not being happy where we are and always wanting to run away. As teens are looking for themselves, characters who wouldn’t get together under regular circumstances to and actually help one another. The most beautiful part is seeing all this from different points of view.
Even if you’re not a comic book reader, I’m sure you’ll enjoy “Black Hole.”

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