Saturday 18 December 2010

Tintin + Burroughs + Burns = ????

As big a fan as I am of Charles Burns (I sought and bought every comic book issue of Black Hole as they were published), I really struggled at first with his new book, X'ed Out. The premise -- Tintin meets William S. Burrough's Interzone -- is irresistible to me. But I gotta admit; the new book was impenetrable to me on first read.

One thing was the full-colour, something Burns hasn't done since a one-shot, one-off of his "Blood Club" story. The other issue was the sheer brevity of the book; at around 50 pages I was crying for more by the end. After a re-read and some pondering, I realised what Burns was up to. I discuss "cracking the code" of X'ed Out in today's Globe and Mail Books section

...Burns isn’t satisfied with simply emulating the look and feel of a classic Tintin. With X’ed Out, it’s as if he’s trying to replicate the emotional experience of reading such work as well; an experience that is defined by the anticipation and frustration one feels with a staggered publishing schedule.


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