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The Hive by Charles Burns
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The Hive (2012)

by Charles Burns

Series: X'ed Out (2)

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Showing 5 of 5
The second volume in what is shaping up to be a very interesting read - and I love the artwork. Burns really nails the classic retro comics look, think Tintin or 1960s romance comics, and paired with the creepy imagery and constant undercurrent of dread and tension, this makes for a hell of an original graphic novel.

In this volume, we see more of Doug’s life and relationships - interesting to watch how the trippy dreamworld/hallucination mirrors events from his actual life. Again, this volume is told in a non-linear fashion, which can be off-putting to some readers, but I personally like it. The structure has a sort of kaleidoscoping feel. The bright, beautiful colours don’t hurt in that regard either, making the art supremely attractive, even when the subject matter is grotesque or bizarre.

Anyway, we see Doug and his relationship with the photographer, Sarah, before what seems like an inevitable implosion (and we know it breaks off at some point, because we’re seeing his future at the same time) and this is mirrored in the dreamworld where Doug is working in a Hive, as a servant for girls designated as “Breeders” which is creepy and unsettling. The one girl he hits it off with is dream-Sarah, of course, who wants him to track down some old romance comics for her . . . just as he did for real Sarah, when they were dating.

I’m very curious to see where Burns is going with all of this, how it will tie together. ( )
  catfantastic | Aug 26, 2015 |
This is the second volume of what I believe is intended to be a trilogy of short graphic novels. What I wrote about the first installment remains true of this one as well:

"A short graphic novel, the first installment of a trilogy. One cannot fully judge the merits of this volume when the other two come out. In many places, it is an elliptical, dreamlike tease. If the future volumes do more to tie all of this together, then this might be the beginning of a brilliant graphic novel. If not, then I would be somewhat disappointed."

This novel brings somewhat more depth to the characters relationships, somewhat more perspective on the alien world he ends up in, and another cliffhanger ending--that is just enough to keep me waiting another two years, which was the length of time between installments 1 and 2 in this novel. ( )
  nosajeel | Jun 21, 2014 |
'The hive' is part 2 of the 'X'ed out' series by Charles Burns and if you wanted the same level of WEIRD! as the first installment, then you've got it. Burns is a genius. Reading his books is like having a dream... none of the parts seem to fit together, yet a story is definitely being told. And once you are finished reading, it is really hard to remember what actually happened. ( )
  clstaff | Jul 24, 2013 |
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2056139.html

This is the second of a trilogy by Burns which started with X'ed Out, and leaps between three different storylines: Doug's memories of his life in our world, in particular his enigmatic girlfriend Sarah (who has a fascination with Louise Bourgeois); the adventures of Doug's alter ego Nitnit in the alternative insectoid world of The Hive; and the romance comics which are common to both worlds. It seems almost as if Burns is interrogating the medium of comics from two different directions, Bourgeois' startling and disturbing images and the conventionally fluffy romance stories. There is also clearly a deep revelation to come in the third and final volume about what happened between Douglas and Sarah, and I find myself rather hoping that it is something sufficiently disturbing to justify the emotional energy of the story rather than some relatively generic story about growing up. ( )
1 vote nwhyte | Jan 27, 2013 |
This is the second volume of what I believe is intended to be a trilogy of short graphic novels. What I wrote about the first installment remains true of this one as well:

"A short graphic novel, the first installment of a trilogy. One cannot fully judge the merits of this volume when the other two come out. In many places, it is an elliptical, dreamlike tease. If the future volumes do more to tie all of this together, then this might be the beginning of a brilliant graphic novel. If not, then I would be somewhat disappointed."

This novel brings somewhat more depth to the characters relationships, somewhat more perspective on the alien world he ends up in, and another cliffhanger ending--that is just enough to keep me waiting another two years, which was the length of time between installments 1 and 2 in this novel. ( )
  jasonlf | Oct 20, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307907880, Hardcover)

From the creator of Black Hole ("The best graphic novel of the year." —Time; "Burns's masterwork." —The New York Times Book Review), the second part of a new epic masterpiece of graphic horror in brilliant, vivid color.

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:11 -0400)

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.

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