Underground Film Journal

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Black Hole #10

By Mike Everleth ⋅ February 11, 2003

Black Hole #10

I was a bit distressed to find out on Fantagraphics Books official website that BLACK HOLE was always originally intended to be a limited series and will be ending its run with issue #12. However, with the book being published at about once a year, we’ve still got a while to wait for the conclusion. Too bad creator Charles Burns doesn’t work faster, though, so the series can finally be collected into one volume and be properly hailed as the masterpiece that it is.

This is the all-Keith installment of the comic and luckily the book is still being printed on the same thick glossy paper because this is probably also the darkest — literally — issue yet produced, the inks drenching each gloomy page.

Most of the action takes place in the neighbors’ house Keith has been watching and which has become a temporary, shade-drawn safe haven for the town’s teen mutant outcasts. With nightmares swirling about him, tortured by two unrequited relationships and faced with an uncertain future, Keith resorts to that typical teenage coping mechanism: Marijuana.

At least Eliza, the tail-swinging gal, looks considerably cheerier in the comic’s only bright sequence, which takes place at Keith’s supermarket workplace. Thank God for at least two pages of happiness, because the issue quickly swirls into a horrifically tragic ending, an ending most anyone would see coming except a perpetually stoned Keith.

This is an exceptionally dour installment of an already bleak book and doesn’t give much hope for an upbeat ending in two years.

Also, why is it that I still fantasize that nauseatingly perky actress Jennifer Love Hewitt would make a great Eliza in the feature-film adaptation? That is, if Hewitt’s squeaky clean image could withstand adorning her naked butt with a swishy tail on the big screen.