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1 Burnside GN- GRAPHIC NOVELS

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Black Hole

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Black Hole Cover

ISBN13: 9780375423802
ISBN10: 037542380x
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 wasnt 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...

Review:

"The prodigiously talented Burns hit the comics scene in the '80s via Raw magazine, wielding razor-sharp, ironic-retro graphics. Over the years his work has developed a horrific subtext perpetually lurking beneath the mundane suburban surface. In the dense, unnerving Black Hole,Burns combines realism — never a concern for him before — and an almost convulsive surrealism. The setting is Seattle during the early '70s. A sexually transmitted disease, the 'bug,' is spreading among teenagers. Those who get it develop bizarre mutations — sometimes subtle, like a tiny mouth at the base of one boy's neck, and sometimes obvious and grotesque. The most visibly deformed victims end up living as homeless campers in the woods, venturing into the streets only when they have to, shunned by normal society. The story follows two teens, Keith and Chris, as they get the bug. Their dreams and hallucinations — made of deeply disturbing symbolism merging sexuality and sickness — are a key part of the tale. The AIDS metaphor is obvious, but the bug also amplifies already existing teen emotions and the wrenching changes of puberty. Burns's art is inhumanly precise, and he makes ordinary scenes as creepy as his nightmare visions of a world where intimacy means a life worse than death." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"This accomplished graphic novel is a serious work of artistic and literary merit and is essential for any collection..." School Library Journal

Review:

"As always, Burns' gorgeous high-contrast art deepens the atmospheric darkness, and this time he really gets under the skin." Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"What [Burns] does so memorably...is blend the erotic and the frightening to create a black hole the reader will want to visit again and again." Boston Globe

Review:

"In Black Hole, Burns's careers in the comics subculture and the wider world of pop culture merge for the most deeply felt work of his career." Washington Post

Review:

"In Black Hole, [Burns's] work takes on a new hyperrealism, which paradoxically only makes the story more frightening." San Antonio Express-News

Synopsis:

From one of the most fiercely admired graphic artists at work today comes a gothic masterpiece of existential fear and loathing, more than a decade in the making and already being hailed as a classic. Set in suburban Seattle in the mid-1970s, it is a horror tale unlike any other.

Synopsis:

SG

About the Author

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.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

crowyhead, August 18, 2006 (view all comments by crowyhead)
Set in Seattle in the early 70's (in that in-between period when being a hippie was totally over but glam and punk hadn't hit yet), this bizarre graphic novel follows the lives of the local teens. In addition to all the usual puzzles of puberty, they are also dealing with "the bug," a sexually transmitted disease that causes bizarre physical mutations. Some people are able to pass for normal -- maybe their particular mutation is a tiny mouth on their neck, or something else small and easy to conceal -- but many of the teens have been forced to drop out of society due to the extent of the grotesque changes to their bodies. These outcasts live in the woods, eking out an existence mainly due to the help of their less visibly infected friends.

This is a truly disturbing book; there are images here that will stick with me for a long time. The storytelling is excellent, but I do feel like I will need to read it again before I have a firm grasp of all of the plot elements and the chronology of the book. One problem I had (and this seems to be a recurring problem for me with graphic novels, so it may be my fault rather than the artist's) is that two of the main characters look a lot alike, especially at the beginning, and I sometimes had a hard time telling them apart.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780375423802
Author:
Burns, Charles
Publisher:
Pantheon Books
Subject:
General
Subject:
Regional & Ethnic - American - General
Subject:
Graphic Novels - General
Subject:
Graphic Novels
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20051031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
BandW DRAWINGS THROUGHOUT
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
9.51 x 6.8 x 1.6 in 2.5 lb

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Genre
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Black Hole Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$23.00 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Pantheon Books - English 9780375423802 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The prodigiously talented Burns hit the comics scene in the '80s via Raw magazine, wielding razor-sharp, ironic-retro graphics. Over the years his work has developed a horrific subtext perpetually lurking beneath the mundane suburban surface. In the dense, unnerving Black Hole,Burns combines realism — never a concern for him before — and an almost convulsive surrealism. The setting is Seattle during the early '70s. A sexually transmitted disease, the 'bug,' is spreading among teenagers. Those who get it develop bizarre mutations — sometimes subtle, like a tiny mouth at the base of one boy's neck, and sometimes obvious and grotesque. The most visibly deformed victims end up living as homeless campers in the woods, venturing into the streets only when they have to, shunned by normal society. The story follows two teens, Keith and Chris, as they get the bug. Their dreams and hallucinations — made of deeply disturbing symbolism merging sexuality and sickness — are a key part of the tale. The AIDS metaphor is obvious, but the bug also amplifies already existing teen emotions and the wrenching changes of puberty. Burns's art is inhumanly precise, and he makes ordinary scenes as creepy as his nightmare visions of a world where intimacy means a life worse than death." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "This accomplished graphic novel is a serious work of artistic and literary merit and is essential for any collection..."
"Review" by , "As always, Burns' gorgeous high-contrast art deepens the atmospheric darkness, and this time he really gets under the skin."
"Review" by , "What [Burns] does so memorably...is blend the erotic and the frightening to create a black hole the reader will want to visit again and again."
"Review" by , "In Black Hole, Burns's careers in the comics subculture and the wider world of pop culture merge for the most deeply felt work of his career."
"Review" by , "In Black Hole, [Burns's] work takes on a new hyperrealism, which paradoxically only makes the story more frightening."
"Synopsis" by , From one of the most fiercely admired graphic artists at work today comes a gothic masterpiece of existential fear and loathing, more than a decade in the making and already being hailed as a classic. Set in suburban Seattle in the mid-1970s, it is a horror tale unlike any other.
"Synopsis" by , SG
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