jeudi 1 octobre 2009

Black Hole, Charles Burns

Pour ceux qui ne connaissent pas encore, voici un chef d'oeuvre de BD américaine contemporaine. Des adolescents sont atteints d'une maladie qui les oblige à vivre reclus dans la forêt et à y former une communauté de monstres. Plus cauchemardesque que paradisiaque, loin de l'utopie communautaire classique.

Pour en savoir plus (article wikipédia) :

Black Hole is a limited series written and illustrated by Charles Burns.

The story deals with the aftermath of a sexually transmitted disease which causes grotesque mutations in teenagers.

Set in the suburbs of Seattle during the mid-1970s, the comics follow a group of mostly middle class teenagers who, over the summer, contract a mysterious sexually transmitted disease known as "the Bug" or "the teen plague", which causes them to develop bizarre unique physical mutations, turning them into social outcasts.

The story tends to focus on four central characters, (Chris, Rob, Keith and Eliza) switching back and forth between their stories as the come in contact with and contract the disease. Apart from some introduction into the setting, the story starts off with Chris contracting the disease from Rob, a popular kid in school. Because of a failed attempt of warning her of his condition, Chris is not aware that Rob is infected until they are already having sex. Chris immediately feels she has been deceived and stops speaking to Rob for some time. Around the same time Keith contracts it from Eliza, a woman he meets at when he is trying to buy drugs at a friends house. Although it is not made extremely clear, Keith seems unaware that Eliza's mutation (a tail) is actually a disease that he can contract from her, although he never outwardly discusses the disease with Eliza, even after it has manifested within him.

Meanwhile, many other teens in the town have contracted the disease, and several of them seek seclusion from society due to the 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 however, continues to live with his parents and attends school visiting Chris daily at the encampment. At the same time Keith and Eliza seem to drift apart naturally for a while. There is a central campfire at the encampment known as "the pit" and Chris avoids this location. Later Rob disappears and Chris starts going to the pit where she encounters Keith, who visits daily, brining supplies to other teens. Keith takes a liking to Chris and offers to let her stay at a tract house that he is watching while its owners are on vacation. Chris eventually invites some of the other teens that frequent the pit to stay at the tract house, which they proceed to destroy to Keith's detriment. Eventually Keith and Eliza rekindle their relationshiop and Chris discovers Rob's fate. This culminates in the remaining central characters leaving the tract house and the town itself.

Burns has said that the mutations can be read as a metaphor for adolescence, sexual awakening and the transition into adulthood.

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