Sunday, October 30, 2005

Black Hole review

What a treat to start my morning with Ben Schwartz in the Washington Post reviewing Charles Burns' new graphic novel Black Hole:

The story takes place in Seattle in the 1970s, where Burns spent his own teenage years, and our sympathies to him if the tale he delivers here is autobiographical. This is not Cameron Crowe's Seattle of peppy coffee houses and space needles but the Pacific Northwest of David Lynch's "Twin Peaks" and the sonic gloom found in the music of Eliot Smith or the Screaming Trees. Black Hole covers the high school years of a group of kids who find themselves catching a venereal disease known as "the teen plague." After sex with an infected partner, they deform and mutate. The infected person might develop a tail, like Eliza, who encourages lovers to grab it during sex. Or there's Rob, who develops a second mouth on his lower neck. Some can hide it, but others turn into freakish social pariahs and join a teen leper colony in the woods. "It was like a horrible game of tag," writes Burns. "Once you were tagged, you were 'it' forever."


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