Sunday, June 9, 2013

X'ed Out

by Charles Burns

X'ed Out, Charles Burns's oversized graphic novel, is a good quick read.  It's a strange book - Dougie is a young man in his late teens or early twenties, who doesn't do a whole lot with life.  He experiments with William S. Burroughs-style cut-up poetry and pretentiousness, argues with his girlfriend, and tries to pick up an equally pretentious photographer from one of his art classes (she likes to pose nude with a fetal pig).

At some point, he ends up spending his days in bed after caging his father's pain medication.  When he sleeps (or hallucinates), he goes to a strange alien world to search for his lost cat and eat omelettes with a short strange-looking guy.

Burns makes all this weirdness work, but at the same time, I couldn't escape the feeling that I was reading a graphic novel that was only 56 pages long, but cost $20 (not that I actually paid that much).  Burns's art is nice, but not at a price like that, especially considering that this is simply the first volume of an ongoing series (the second volume, The Hive, is out) that may take years to complete.

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