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11 Burnside GN- GRAPHIC NOVELS
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This title in other editions

Black Hole

by

Black Hole Cover

ISBN13: 9780375714726
ISBN10: 0375714723
All Product Details

 

Awards

Winner of the Eisner, Harvey, and Ignatz Awards

Staff Pick

Winner of the comics industry's trifecta -- the Eisner, Harvey, and Ignatz Awards -- Black Hole is a riveting, nightmarish, sometimes ghoulishly funny allegory for the horror of adolescence and our collective terror of sexuality and our own bodies. But don't let this dry description fool you: Charles Burns's graphic novel is beautiful to look at, compelling to read, and purely unforgettable.
Recommended by Hank, Powells.com

Set in suburban Seattle in the 1970s, this graphic novel is the tale of a mysterious plague that has descended on the area's teenagers. Burns has a distinctive style, particularly suited to the disturbing stories he tells. While I love all his books, Black Hole is his masterpiece.
Recommended by Adam P., Powells.com

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:

A strange plague has descended upon Seattles teenagers, transmitted by sexual contact. The disease is manifested in any number of ways — from the hideously grotesque to the subtle. Black Hole explores a specific American cultural moment in flux and the kids who are caught in it.

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 2 comments:

h, November 25, 2012 (view all comments by h)
This will appeal to those with a dark side. In this black and white comic, Burns doesn't let up in his depiction of a sexually-transmitted disease that alienates even the most popular suburban teenagers from their families and "normal" friends in a 1970s Seattle suburb. Other communities form but with an unstable, sinister center. Oddly, no one is concerned about curing the disease. Burns focuses only on effects through a non-linear narrative divided across different character-narrators. I couldn't stop reading it, but know that it won't catch everyone by the lapels.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
Esrah Boulton, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by Esrah Boulton)
I was a bit skeptical of this book at first, but a few pages in and I was hooked. Both the storyline and illustrations were stellar and had an impressive flow, which sucked me in and kept me reading. Though fictional, the characters lives strike a depressingly strong note. While their lives spiral downward, putting the book down becomes a trivial pursuit. Needless to say, Black Hole is an eerily apt title for such an enthralling read.
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View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375714726
Author:
Burns, Charles
Publisher:
Pantheon Books
Subject:
Graphic Novels - General
Subject:
General
Subject:
Graphic Novels
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
January 8, 2008
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
BandW DRAWINGS THROUGHOUT
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
9.24x6.60x1.30 in. 2.21 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Genre
Fiction and Poetry » Graphic Novels » Alternative
Fiction and Poetry » Graphic Novels » Featured Titles
Fiction and Poetry » Graphic Novels » General

Black Hole New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$19.95 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Pantheon Books - English 9780375714726 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Winner of the comics industry's trifecta -- the Eisner, Harvey, and Ignatz Awards -- Black Hole is a riveting, nightmarish, sometimes ghoulishly funny allegory for the horror of adolescence and our collective terror of sexuality and our own bodies. But don't let this dry description fool you: Charles Burns's graphic novel is beautiful to look at, compelling to read, and purely unforgettable.

"Staff Pick" by ,

Set in suburban Seattle in the 1970s, this graphic novel is the tale of a mysterious plague that has descended on the area's teenagers. Burns has a distinctive style, particularly suited to the disturbing stories he tells. While I love all his books, Black Hole is his masterpiece.

"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 , A strange plague has descended upon Seattles teenagers, transmitted by sexual contact. The disease is manifested in any number of ways — from the hideously grotesque to the subtle. Black Hole explores a specific American cultural moment in flux and the kids who are caught in it.
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