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.