Thursday, 25 November 2010

Charles Burns vs Tintin

When I was a child I never really read the Tintin books (you were either an Asterix person or a Tintin person, and I was in group one while my brother was in group two), so I missed out on some great stuff when I was the perfect age for it.

As an adult, I am definitely a Charles Burns person (in the sense that I like his work, not in the sense that I'm some strange teenaged mutant freak with a tail like one of his characters). I liked his take on a classic Tintin cover for his most recent book, X'ed Out.

Now I discover that there's some weird France-only remix of X'ed Out called Johnny 23, which rearranges the images from the book, adds new art, and uses only the strange alien alphabet from the first book. It, too, references a classic Tintin cover.

X'ed Out, by the way, is very good, but it's also, annoyingly, only the first part of a story, which I didn't know when I bought it. Nothing on the book tells you how many parts there will be, or when the next one is due. Given Burns doesn't exactly churn out a new issue of his work every month, I wonder whether I'll see the end of this story before I die.


Bob Fingerman said...

I'm a big Burns fan, too. And he's a heckuva nice guy. But I agree about the ending leaving you hanging. It would have been nice to have a "Book One" or something on the cover to give you a heads up. Still, it's off to a great, intriguing, start.

JRSM said...

It really is. He has a really interesting outlook on the world. I want more!

Ben said...

Frustratingly, I haven't read X'ed Out yet - somehow I had the bright idea of putting it on my xmas list, so am holding off in case someone buys me a copy.

Anyway, cliffhanger or no, I would definitely recommend buying Burns' work in individual issues/installments rather than waiting for a finished collection - each issue of "Black Hole" is mysterious, beautiful thing that can (and should) be obsessed over for hours, whereas the collected edition, for me at least, feels very flat in comparison (even aside from practical considerations such as the fact the artwork is squashed onto smaller pages, many of the incredible inner/outer cover designs are missing, etc).

Sorry, bit of an off-topic gripe there - it's still one of my favourite, uh, things of all time, in any format.

Óscar Palmer said...

According to this great interview by Sam Adams there will be three X'ed Out books:,47913/

JRSM said...

Good point, Ben, and I am glad to have this as an individual thing--I just wish it said how much of the final thing it was.

Pedro: And that solves that mystery! Magic. Thank you!