Black Hole (Hardcover)
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Black Hole (Hardcover)

Overall Rating Rating 4.3  |  3 reviews  |  Write a review
Today $22.84
Item #: 3622362
    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......more
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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…

Charles Burns grew up in Seattle in the 1970s. Hs work rose to prominence in Art Spiegelman’s Raw magazine in the mid-1980s and took off from there, for an extraordinary range of comics and projects, from Iggy Pop album covers to the latest ad campaign for Altoids. In 1992 he designed the set for Mark Morris’s delightful restaging of The Nutcracker (renamed The Hard Nut) at BAM. He’s illustrated covers for Time, The New Yorker, and The New York Times Magazine. He was also tapped as the official cover artist for The Believer magazine at its inception in 2003. Burns lives in Philadelphia with his wife and two daughters.

Burns, Charles
Pantheon Books
Publish Date:
Copyright Year:
9.5 in
6.75 in
1.5 in
Unit weight:
2.5 lb
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Showing 3 most recent reviews on this product.

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  • Pointless

    I had read high praise of this graphic novel, so I purchased it to see for myself. I can see how people might interpret it as surreal, but that's about it. It tries to be raw, edgy, etc., but really just ends up being meandering and boring. Sure, maybe that makes it a perfect symbol of the meandering, pointless confusion of being a teenager, but...there just wasn't enough substance for me. It was a great premise, but handled poorly, in my opinion.

    • Would you recommend this to a friend? No
  • Surreal and trippy

    Though definitely NOT for younger readers (high school and above) this is an excellent graphic novel. The allegories are obvious in this horror setting dealing with teen angst, apathy, loss, and prejudice. It's certainly not a glossy happy 'cartoon' but it is very well done. It's also very well bound, the quality of the paper, cover, production is top notch and a great price for this book.

    • Would you recommend this to a friend? Yes
  • seriously good

    i have purchased 2 copies, one as a gift. i wouldn't recommend anything unless i felt it was pretty amazing. burns has a heavy hand at drawing but a very light touch when it comes to his ideas. the story is brutal and awkward to read. i sort of wanted to forget high school after reading this. its not for children - it isn't gratuitous in any way. but it would be lost on most kids unfamiliar with puberty or the growing pains of love and that need to get some serperation from what you are accustomed to.

    • Would you recommend this to a friend? Yes
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