Much has happened since we last saw Doug, the Tintin-like hero from X'ed Out. Confessing his past to an unidentified woman, Doug struggles to recall the mysterious incident that left his life shattered, an incident that may have involved his disturbed and now-absent girlfriend, Sarah, and her menacing ex-boyfriend.
Doug warily seeks answers in a nightmarish alternate world that is a distorted mirror of our own, where he is a lowly employee that carts supplies around the Hive. The second part of Charles Burns's riveting trilogy, this graphic narrative will delight and surpass the expectations of his fans."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-07-16
- Reviewer: Staff
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.)