"A library doesn't need windows. A library is a window." – Stewart Brand

Apr 12, 2011

Read Something! _Black Hole_ (Charles Burns)

Black Hole
Graphic Novel, Literary Fiction


The Seattle suburbs; the 1970s. A sexually transmitted disease called "the bug" is sweeping through the high school population. Those infected are physically transformed, in unique and often grotesque fashion. Chris is the girl that all the boys want. Keith is one of her admirers. When they each encounter "the bug" and the group of infected outcasts living in the woods, the resulting events will take them from home and profoundly alter their lives.

Appeal characteristics

  • Plot: Positive ending (if not 100% happy)
  • Plot: Open-ended conclusion; though the plot threads are wrapped up, the characters' stories don't feel totally finished
  • Plot: At least three intersecting plot threads, one of which is not really obvious as a plot thread until its climax and conclusion
  • Plot/Frame?: Coming of age story
  • Frame?: Bizarre dream sequences (but outside of dreams, things feel "real" and logical)
  • Frame?: Strong and frequent use of visual symbolism and repeated images
  • Characterization: Teenage/high school characters
  • Art: Grotesque imagery
  • Art: Usually 4-6 regular-sized panels per page
  • Art: Mostly black backgrounds with white figures; heavy shading
Other notes
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