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January Books 3) The Hive, by Charles Burns

train, tintin, leuven
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.

Bechdel fail at the second step - it is a tight narrative of a male viewpoint character (or characters), and while there are numerous female characters, none of them talk to each other.

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