Black Hole (comics)

Infobox comic book title
title = Black Hole

caption = no image
schedule =
format =
limited =Y
publisher =Kitchen Sink Press Fantagraphics
date = 1995 - 2005
issues = 12
main_char_team =
writers = Charles Burns
artists = Charles Burns
pencillers =
inkers =
colorists =
creative_team_month =
creative_team_year =
creators =
subcat=Kitchen Sink Press
sort=Black Hole (comics)

"Black Hole" is a limited series written and illustrated by Charles Burns.

The story deals with the aftermath of a sexually transmitted disease which causes grotesque mutations in teenagers.

Publication history

It was published as a 12-issue comic book limited series between 1995 and 2005. The first four issues were released by Kitchen Sink Press; after Kitchen Sink went out of business, Fantagraphics republished the first four issues and the remaining eight. A compiled hardcover volume was released by Pantheon Books in 2005.


Set in the suburbs of Seattle during the mid-1970s the book follows a group of mostly middle class teenagers who over the summer contract a mysterious sexually transmitted disease known as "the Bug" or "the teen plague", which causes them to develop bizarre physical mutations, turning them into social outcasts. This is an issue that both of the main characters, a boy and a girl, face as they go through many sexual encounters. The female lead contracts the disease fairly early in the story as she has sex with a ladies man from her high school that she had been too nervous to speak to before. As they begin he tries to warn her of his condition, in his specific case manifesting itself as a mouth at the center of his collar bone, but she dismisses his alert. She contracts the bug, which causes her skin to loosen and peel off. Several teens with the bug find seclusion at "The Pit", an encampment in the woods outside of town. Later some of the characters move to a tract house while its owners are on vacation. Burns has said that the mutations can be read as a metaphor for adolescence, sexual awakening and the transition into adulthood.cite web
last = Appleford
first = Steve
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Interview with Charles Burns
work =
publisher = Los Angeles City Beat
date = 2006-02-14
url =
format = text
doi =
accessdate = 2007-09-30

The look of the comic is meant to evoke the feel and atmosphere of classic 70s teen horror films like "The Last House on the Left", "Carrie" and "Halloween". Fact|date=June 2007


In November 2005, the message board of the "Comics Journal" reported that "Black Hole" will be adapted to film by the French director Alexandre Aja ("Haute Tension"). In March 2006, comics news site Newsarama reported that Neil Gaiman and "Pulp Fiction" co-writer Roger Avary would be adapting the screenplay, and in May 2006 Gaiman confirmed this in a "Time" magazine interview. [cite web|url=|title=Gaiman, Avery To Adapt Black Hole For Screen|publisher=Newsarama|date=2006-03-08] [cite web|url=,13005,901060501-1186537,00.html|title=Leader of the Pack|publisher="Time"|date=2006-04-23]

In February 2008, "Variety" reported that the film will be produced by Paramount Pictures and directed by David Fincher ("Se7en", "Fight Club"). [cite web|url=|title=David Fincher falls into 'Black Hole'|publisher="Variety"|date=2008-02-20]


External links

* [ Official page on Pantheon's site]
* [ Burns page on]


* [,9565,1121476,00.html Review in TIME magazine]
* [ Review in "Washington Post"]

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