Tuesday March 10th, 2009

Black Hole by Charles Burns

charles-burns-black-holeRecommended by Dan in Los Angeles.

Black Hole is a stunning book, a graphic novel that reminds you just how much power can be packed into the medium. Originally published in 12 volumes over 10 years, this collected work is a masterpiece of teenage angst and heartbreak mixed with the biting politics of the social outcast. Set in suburban Seattle in the 1970s, the story follows high schoolers infected with an STD known only as “the bug” that manifests itself in mutations including tails and extra mouths. Burns is wise enough to keep the disease’s origins a mystery, and though the story flirts with melodrama (murders and runaways), it never rings false. It’s an engrossing and moving read.