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The Hive


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From the creator of the cult classic Black Hole, another completely original and compelling narrative, the sequel to X'ed Out.

About the Author

Charles Burns lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with his wife and two daughters. As well as writing comics Burns has designed the set for a New York production of The Nutcracker, illustrated covers for Time Magazine and produced an album cover for Iggy Pop. His epic graphic novel, Black Hole, Eisner, Harvey, and Ignatz awards in 2005.


Burns's oeuvre is frequently cited as "strange," but that's perhaps oversimplifying a world more thought-provokingly described as recognizably like our own, except for when it's not--and it's the difference between the two where Burns's power to shine a light on the darker side of human nature lies. This is the second volume of a trilogy begun in X'ed Out, and as such has an unfinished feeling. We return to Doug, the protagonist, whose recounting of his relationship with a young woman shifts back and forth between the less surreal of the book's two environments and another where his apparent alter ego works in a dreary factory/hospital providing books to its monster patients. Both scenarios occur in an eerie alternate reality whose visuals exude a sense of uncomfortable, riveting silence that fixes the reader's attention to the tale's odd events. Burns's stark work operates on its own nightmare logic and as a result, flesh-crawling events spew forth in the most mundane of settings. Romance comics, misshapen mutants, reptile men, a nightmare of disembowelment that yields a fetal pig, photographic obsessions and more stake out their territory--the result will stick with readers long after being absorbed. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

"[A] major work." * GQ Magazine *
"The Hive is even more disorienting than the book preceding it - and that was dizzying enough... The feeling of dread Burns evokes is quite something... The master of all that is creepy in comics" -- Rachel Cooke * Observer *

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