Winner of the Eisner, Harvey, and Ignatz Awards
The setting: suburban Seattle, the mid-1970s. We learn from the outset that a strange plague has descended upon the areaâ€™s teenagers, transmitted by sexual contact. The disease is manifested in any number of ways â€” from the hideously grotesque to the subtle (and concealable) â€” but once youâ€™ve got it, thatâ€™s it. Thereâ€™s no turning back.
As we inhabit the heads of several key characters â€” some kids who have it, some who donâ€™t, some who are about to get it â€” what unfolds isnâ€™t the expected battle to fight the plague, or bring heightened awareness to it , or even to treat it. What we become witness to instead is a fascinating and eerie portrait of the nature of high school alienation itself â€” the savagery, the cruelty, the relentless anxiety and ennui, the longing for escape.
And then the murders start.
As hypnotically beautiful as it is horrifying, Black Hole transcends its genre by deftly exploring a specific American cultural moment in flux and the kids who are caught in it- back when it wasnâ€™t exactly cool to be a hippie anymore, but Bowie was still just a little too weird.
To say nothing of sprouting horns and molting your skinâ€¦