Shortly after B gave this to his sister as a present, it returned to our apartment for many, many months. I keep seeing it, and after B told me he was going to give it back to his sister, I read it quickly.
BH is a thick, slick graphic novel set in the 70s in a suburb of Seattle. Burns takes the rather rote story of the boredom and small desires of the town’s teen population and makes a meditation on adolescence bubbling with mutation, hatred and murder. You see, the stoner kids and the popular kids and the nerds alike have been getting it on like mad in between getting drunk and high and driving around. Then they start growing extra mouths, or giant hairy lumps on their faces or their skin peels of in big chunks. Way worse than herpes, my friends. Just like a horror movie, parents are useless and the other kids are not to be trusted.
I had heard that this was a book of genius. Maybe the single issues worked better to tell the story because the wrap of the two storylines was unsatisfying for me. Maybe this was intentional; after high school things get less dramatic and generally, life after 18 is less full of small personal mysteries solved and full of the same large questions. I don’t know… The art is beautiful though (I like his natural details especially) and the dialogue is great, so it’s still worth checking out if you are a fan of smart comics.