Black Hole

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Let’s get a little creepy in the spirit of Halloween! Black Hole by Charles Burns leads readers into an alternate 1970s world where an STD termed “The Bug” turns teenagers into mutants… permanently. Molting skin, boils, and extra body parts are just a few of its effects. If that is not bad enough, a series of mysterious murders plagues the town’s infected. Following four different teens, the graphic novel leads the reader into a grotesque world with all too familiar scenarios of teenage angst, lust, and deceit.

Join the adult Graphic Novel Book Club at CLP – Woods Run to discuss this unsettling graphic novel Thursday, October 26th from 6:30pm – 7:30pm. Light refreshments and intriguing conversation will be provided!

Black Hole

Winner of the Eisner, Harvey, and Ignatz Awards

The setting: suburban Seattle, the mid-1970s. We learn from the outset 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 wasn’t 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…