Black Hole

Author: Charles Burns
Year: 2005
Genre: SF/Fantasy

In 1970s Seattle, a mysterious sexually transmitted plague turns teenagers into hideous monsters. Amid typical teenage dramas of love and independence, kids try to continue their normal lives despite the threat -- or fact -- of having caught "the bug."

This is obviously symbolic of something, but what? Does it represent the 1970s herpes outbreak and the AIDS epidemic to come? Does it mean that these former children have a hard time forming and recognizing their new adult identities? Is a loss of innocence signified by acquiring a tail or webbed fingers or a second mouth in your throat that talks when you're sleeping? Maybe it doesn't matter. Maybe it's just another impossible situation that young people can find themselves in when they've acquired access to the adult world but don't fully understand adult responsibility.

Burns's detailed, high-contrast black-and-white art provides a feeling of surreality to the whole story.

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