Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Black Hole

Charles Burns

Graphic novel, set in the '70s, with a group of teenagers and the very strange mutating-STD that develops. Primarily a character-driven piece, using the weird disease as both metaphor and the driving plot to character transformation. Also has a somewhat unnecessary horror mystery arc put within the larger narrative. The artwork is beautiful, very distinctively and evocatively drawn. I first saw this book in the gift shop for an art museum, and I can see why. The story is also reasonably effective, if not quite as breathtaking. The use of genre elements is poor (the bug pretty much has to be magical, no explanation for the origin is given and people seem remarkably unconcerned about a disease that causes a second mouth to grow on someone's neck). Still, it's effective for some very creepy moments and some solid character progression.

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