by Charles Burn
This masterpiece took Burns 10 years to complete in a 12 part series.
& it was my first experience of a graphic novel!
Doing a fine art course you'd thought I would hate this perfect, polished aesthetic but my inner art geek freaking loves it, it's undeniably "cool".
Mentalist graphics, high contrast, defined shadows, like crazy chiaroscuro.
Focusing on a community of 1970s Seattle teenagers and the spread of a creepy s.t.i., or "teen plague", Burns' idiosyncratic taunt line conveys the youth of the protagonists, and makes their respective demises seem even more poignant.
I came across this at Ferg's house. Happily supping on Scrumpy Jack at his fort party, it just captivated me, so yes I was the sad girl at the party - reading.
I couldn't wait for him to lend it so bought my own copy, and devoured in within 2 sittings.
I love the blatant sexuality of it all, literally every image is saturated with teenage tension.
The trees are gathered to resemble a virgin's legs spread, Eliza's tail is more than phallic, Chris' cut foot is a vagina, speech bubbles quaver with anxiety, you can practically smell the alcohol and sweat of it all.
Burn's has apparently conceded that the warts, hair, mutations et al can be metaphors for "adolescence, sexual awakening and the transition into adulthood".
To me it's one big treat, after wading, unsuccessfully through Dostoevsky (I will complete it, I will) I once more feel my love for books burning bright.