Black Hole (comics)

Black Hole is a twelve-issue comic book limited series written and illustrated by Charles Burns and published by Kitchen Sink Press , then Fantagraphics . It was released in the year 2005 by Pantheon Books . The story deals with the aftermath of a sexually transmitted disease which causes grotesque mutations in teenagers. Burns has said that the mutations can be read as a metaphor for adolescence, sexual awakening and the transition into adulthood. [1]

Publication history

Black Hole was published as a 12-issue comic book limited series between 1995 and 2005 . The first four issues were released by Kitchen Sink Press , before the publisher 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, with the interstitial character portraits from the single issues. [2]


In the suburbs of Seattle during the 1970s, the story follows a group of teenagers who contract a mysterious sexually transmitted disease referred to as “the Bug, which causes them to develop bizarre single physical mutations and later become social outcasts, many of them running away from home to live in the nearby woodland.

Focusing on the central characters, the viewpoint changes between (and sometimes within) issues. Chris is a high schooler who contracts the disease from Rob, a popular kid at her school. She is having a good time. Around the same time, Keith contracts The Bug from Eliza, a woman he meets while trying to buy cannabis at a friend’s house.

Meanwhile, many other teens in the city have contracted the disease, and several of them seek severity of their mutations and build an encampment in the woods outside of town. Chris and Rob eventually renew their friendship, which culminates with Chris running away from home to the encampment in the woods. Rob continues to live with his parents and attends school, visiting Chris daily at the encampment. At the same time, Keith and Eliza drift apart. There is a central campfire at the encampment known as “The Pit”, which Chris avoids.

Later, Rob disappears and Chris starts going to The Pit, where she encounters Keith, a regular visitor who brings supplies to the teens. They take a liking to each other, and Keith offers to let her stay at a tract house That he is watching icts while owners are on vacation. Chris eventually invites some of the other teens who frequent the pit to stay at the house, which they proceed to destroy to Keith’s detriment. Eventually Keith and Eliza rekindle their relationship and Chris discovers Rob’s fate. This culminates in the remaining central characters leaving the tract house and the town itself.

Collected editions

Pantheon Books has released soft ( ISBN  978-0375714726 ) and hardcover ( ISBN  037542380X ) collected editions of the series. In Brazil, publisher Darkside Books released a hardcover collected edition of the series.


The collected edition won the 2006 Harvey Award for ” Best Graphic Album of Previously Published Work “. Burns also won the 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006 Harvey Award as ” Best Inker ” for his work on the series. Black Hole won the 2006 Ignatz Award for ” Outstanding Anthology or Collection “. It was the 2007 winner of the “Essentials of Angoulême” award.

It was voted the third best foreign comic book published in Japan for the 2013 Gaiman Award presentation. [3]

In popular culture

The Knife album Silent Shout , along with the music video for the title and some of the press photos, were inspired by Black Hole . [4]

In the 2014 film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes , the human teenager Alexander ( Kodi Smit-McPhee ) gives his copy of a softcover collected edition of Black Hole to the Bornean teacher orangutan Maurice ( Karin Konoval ), as they form an important bond to the film’s plot.

Movie adaptation

In November 2005, the message board of the Comics Journal reported that Black Hole would be adapted to film by the French director Alexandre Aja . In March 2006, comic news site Newsarama reported that Neil Gaiman and Pulp Fiction co-writer Roger Avary would be adapting the screenplay. [5] [6]

In 2007, director Rupert Sanders released an abbreviated live-action adaptation of Black Hole on his website [7] [8] as part of his pitch for the project. [9] It features actors Chris Marquette , Whitney Able , Diane Gaeta, Noel Fisher , and Nate Mooney.

In February 2008, Variety reported that the film would be produced by Paramount Pictures and directed by Academy Award- nominee David Fincher . [10] In October 2008, MTV reported that Gaiman and Avary scriptwriters had left production, reporting that their script would not be used by Fincher – though no replacement scripwriter was announced. [11] In August 2010, David Fincher aussi removed His Name from generation of the movie in order to focus more attention is directing The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, [12] HOWEVER as of October 2013 He Was once more attached to Direct Black Hole[13]


  1. Jump up^ Appleford, Steve (2006-02-14). “Interview with Charles Burns” . Los Angeles City Beat. Archived from the original (text) on 2007-04-15 . Retrieved 2007-09-30 .
  2. Jump up^ “Black Hole” . The Savage Critics !. 2009-02-22.
  3. Jump up^ “ANIME NEWS: ‘Taste of Chlorine’ voted No. 1 translated foreign comic in 2013” . AJW . Asahi Shimbun . 5 December 2013. Archived from the original on 13 December 2013 . Retrieved 21 May 2014 .
  4. Jump up^ McLean, Craig (January 2006). “The Knife – Biography” . . Retrieved 24 September 2010 .
  5. Jump up^ “Gaiman, Avery To Adapt Black Hole For Screen” . Newsarama . 2006-03-08. permanent dead link ]
  6. Jump up^ Brunton, Michael (2006-04-23). “Leader of the Pack” . Time .
  7. Jump up^ “Black Hole” .
  8. Jump up^ “Watch Rupert Sanders ‘Short Film Adaptation of Burns Charles’ Graphic Novel ‘Black Hole’ (NSFW)” . 2010-12-14.
  9. Jump up^ Mellor, Louisa (May 28, 2012). “Rupert Sanders interview: Snow White and the Huntsman, Kristen Stewart, Lord of the Rings” . Den of Geek . Retrieved February 6, 2013 . I was trying to make this thing, Black Hole , that I made a short film based on my own money, and I was actually pitching for projects. I was not looking for a big movie, I was looking for something that excited me.
  10. Jump up^ Siegel, Tatiana (2008-02-20). “David Fincher falls into ‘Black Hole ‘ ‘ . Variety .
  11. Jump up^ Vineyard, Jennifer (2008-10-21). “Neil Gaiman On Adapting Burns Charles’ Graphic Novel ‘Black Hole ‘ ” . MTV . Retrieved 2017-03-13 .
  12. Jump up^ “The Hollywood Cog Dazzles Us With News On David Fincher Barry Levinson The Hangover Writers and More” . 2010-08-10.
  13. Jump up^ “Charles Burns’s ‘Black Hole’ movie moving ahead with David Fincher”. Digital Spy. 2013-04-11 . Retrieved 2014-06-11 .

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