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Black Hole

Charles Burns
Art: Charles Burns

Reviewed by Lorenzo Princi
Black Hole by Charles Burns
Cover concept by Lorenzo Princi, 30th August 2014
I was as pure and empty as the flames moving in front of me.

Keith, Chris, Rob and Eliza, like many teenagers growing up in small towns are looking for escape from their mundane existence in Seattle's suburbia through sex, drugs and alcohol. Their stories are far from the average high school drama however, as a plague transmitted through their adolescent free-love sexual exploits shows itself by manifesting mutations on the infected. Through shame and fear, those who can't hide their mutations escape to hidden communities in the woods while others try desperately to fit in and some to simply accept it.

Black Hole is like David Cronenberg directing an episode of That 70's Show. A tragic, horrific and disturbing trip through mid-70s suburbia via the lives of restless teenagers. A surreal dream-like narrative with crisp, stark, black and white artwork is juxtaposed by a spiraling plot structure.

Charles Burns delivers the perfect growing-up-middle-class tale of youthful angst, transition into adulthood, the rebellion against the conformity and the alienation of difference.