X’ed Out by Charles Burns

To judge Charles Burns’ X’ed Out immediately would be unfair; being the first of a series, it’s kinda hard to tell where this one is going. Sure, the first installment always sets the tone, always, for what will be one’s lingering, nagging initial impression of it all, the one opinion that, no matter how long and dragging or short and succinct the entire series is, you will never be rid of.

And, this being my first view of Charles Burns’ work (I just got around to reading Black Hole), I don’t want to pretend that I know what I’m talking about.

Let me try to share what I’ve so poorly grasped from it: Doug wakes up in a room where he sees and black cat and subsequently follows it out a gaping hole on the wall. What follows is a mishmash of present-tensed, out-of-this-world story that involves a hive of sorts, and of flashbacks of 20-somethings and Doug’s relationship troubles. Oh, and I must mention the eggs. Definitely the eggs.

I don’t want to sound like a phony and use the world ‘tantalizing’ to describe Burns’ artwork (just so-so, but then that’s just me). The only X’ed Out residue that’s managed to stick to my brain is my curiosity as to what the deal is with the eggs.

For lack of anything substantial to say, I’m actually just talking gibberish.

Considering that this might just be another coming-of-age series with real creepy stuff thrown in, I’m still waiting for the next part of X’ed Out before actually making a judgement. That, and the fact that I still have more Charles Burns to read. So, Chapter Two, I’ll be on the lookout for you. Then we’ll see.

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