Charles Burns – Black Hole (1995 – 2005)

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November 7, 2005 | “Everything’s either concave or -vex,” the Danish poet Piet Hein once wrote, “so whatever you dream will be something with sex.” In Charles Burns’ decade-in-the-making graphic novel “Black Hole,” the natural concavity and -vexity of everything leaps out at you: Nearly every image is a sexual metaphor, with the distorted clarity and mutability of a nightmare. And sex in “Black Hole” also means body horror, sickening transformations and loss. The first page’s abstraction — a thin, wobbling slit of light on a black background — opens up to become wider and fleshier, then to become a blatantly vaginal gash in a frog on a dissecting pan (surrounded by pools and pearls of liquid). That’s only the beginning of the book’s array of weenie roasts and clumsy tongues and trees leaning away from each other like spread legs. Continue reading