The book Black Hole by Charles Burns is a strange book about students of a school who are experiencing an anomaly within the community. In the book there is a disease that causes weird symptoms such as weird bumps on the body and the skin of a person shedding at an incredible rate. The way its spread is through sexual intercourse and this is what happens to the characters that we see throughout. The only way I can explain this book is that they’re all in a drug induced high and the characters cant distinguish between reality and the hallucinated world. After I read the New York Times article the book started to make a little bit more sense. The new form of cancer that the researchers found are similar to the symptoms of the “bug” in the Black Hole story. This new form of cancer is also spread through sex. In the book the “bug” as they call it is like a social repellent. You are judged as soon as news of your condition is spread. Things such as new body parts such as tails, mouths and even rips in their skin are shown to appear. In the article is says they the people with Kaposi’s Sarcoma develop things such as bumps and dark patches in their skin. The book so far is interesting and i’m curious about how the book will resolve itself.


4 Comments so far

  1.    Asim Shariff on October 24, 2016 12:56 am

    I found it interesting that came up with the point that the characters are probably drug induced and they have trouble distinguishing between reality and a fake world. The book also relates to the article, since both talk about a disease that is spread through sexual intercourse. There is also a lack of knowledge about both of the diseases. I agree with the arguments that you made. I also thought it was interesting how you saw a similarity between both the disease in the book and cancer. Both of these diseases cause the individual to grow abnormalities.

  2.    xianruichen on October 24, 2016 1:11 am

    I agree with you that this book is strange. For me, starting of from the first page, I am not really can understand the main ideas and why Mr.Charles choose to draw a book like this. Hope the book will give me a sence happiness. Also, This is a comic book with only black and white. That makes me feel a little disappointed

  3.    Jonathan Eng on October 24, 2016 2:43 am

    It’s defiantly interesting that you mentioned the characters are all drug induced. That is a good possibility! People aren’t running from the disease when they see it, reinforcing your idea of not being able to distinguish reality from drug hallucination. I feel it’s a way of marking “bad kids” to show readers possible dangers from participating in sexual activities before adulthood, since the disease only affects teens. Maybe the writer finds a graphic novel to be the best way to send a message to kids!

  4.    Naomi Bracho on October 24, 2016 11:28 am

    I didn’t think of the fact that they’re all drug induced in order to explain the reason for what they are experiencing. This makes the characters as less reliable sources for what really occurs.

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