What is Charles Burns latest, first fully-colored graphic novel, X'ed Out about exactly? Honestly, I don't entirely know. But that's the point.

I think.

X'ed Out is a book full of so many ideas that it might not be possible wrangle all the disparate thoughts that cropped up in my head as I read the tale and manage them into a concise review. X'ed Out is about a drug addicted and mentally unstable man named Doug who travels into an alternate reality made up of symbols that represent the many important moments and mistakes in his life.

And Tintin. It's also about Tintin.

For me, X'ed Out might be an examination of the artistic process. It is about the idea of ideas. The birth of inspiration. The moments in our lives that are digested and transformed into something different, something abstract, something that we don't fully understand. Every panel, every page is loaded with images that can only be interpreted as clues. But are they clues? Are they pieces in a puzzle? Will they connect? At this point, it's impossible to say as X'ed Out is only the first in a trilogy of tales. The next installment, The Hive is coming at some point in 2011. Read More...

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