Charles Burns’s graphic novel Black Hole is one of the medium’s most iconic works of the 21st century, a towering achievement by a master cartoonist, and perennial classic some 15 years after its initial release. Set in suburban Seattle during the mid-1970s, it’s the story of a strange plague that has descended upon the area’s teenagers, transmitted by sexual contact. The premise lends itself to metaphorical interpretations as well as functioning as a perfect outlet to mine teen ennui and puberty-induced anxiety.
This Fantagraphics Studio Edition showcases Burns’s original art for the book, featuring exact reproductions of over 150 of his original pages, at their actual size. While appearing to be in black & white, each page has been scanned in full color to retain the integrity and fidelity of the actual original art, warts and all. It includes several full chapters from the book as well as selected excerpts that showcase Burns’s impeccable sense of design, composition, and execution. Hypnotically beautiful and horrifying, Black Hole is a genuine American classic and this is the closest most of us will ever get to sitting in the author’s studio.
Read Burns' interview with Vulture.