X'ed Out: Charles Burns

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X'ed Out: Charles Burns

X'ed Out: Charles Burns

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By day, Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce (ii)) works in the records department of the monolithic Ministry of Information. Doug’s dreams are heavily influenced by Herge’s Adventures of Tintin stories, which on the most basic level are about travel and adventure and in Sam’s dreams he is always flying. Then, in a warehouse full of red and white eggs (Tintin fans will recognize their alien coloring from Hergé’s “The Shooting Star”), he encounters salamander men (in office attire) who toss him out onto the street. Burns's style was a source of inspiration for Martin Ander's artwork for Fever Ray, Karin Dreijer Andersson's solo project.

X'ed Out is what life would be like if you were listening to Pink Floyd and reading Kurt Vonnegut while living in a David Cronenberg film. But it is recognizably about adolescence, and sexuality, the dark loneliness and pain of it, filtered through a haze of drugs and alcohol. It's a real intriguing start, building up unsettling, eye-catching motifs from the first page and slipping fluidly from conscious-present to remembered-past into subconscious-dreamworld collisions of the two. I'm about to read The Hive next—if I can glimpse a narrative among the hairless mole-people, maybe I will go back and retroactively give this book another star. There is a kind of suspension of disbelief to all of his works; 'quicksandish' in ability to take you down slowly; very effective in scope.Burns spends more time with Doug and his dying father, exploring his father’s past and how he became such a beaten man. I know what the point is but I think my brain puts together images and words that build up and become more cohesive and clear as I progress.

While Sam believes that his life in the records department is comfortable and simple, the truth is he is part of the machine and gradually becoming more like his father, to the point of later accepting Helpmann’s offer of a promotion. In his waking life, Sam is just one of hundreds of people working in the records department of the Ministry of Information. Sugar Skull was an immensely disappointing let-down to what has otherwise been a fascinating series.Let me try to share what I've so poorly grasped from it: Doug wakes up in a room where he sees a black cat and subsequently follows it out a gaping hole on the wall. Having now read X’ed Out, I understand what the problem is that people have but it doesn’t have anything to do with the book itself (or not really). It’s so ordinary and unbelievably disappointing, not least because there’s no mystery, while the ending was terrible - it was an art school cliche!

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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