I am so filled with excitement that I can almost not type these words. Variety is reporting that David Fincher has signed on to direct the adaptation of Charles Burns’ incredible graphic novel Black Hole, which currently has a screenplay by Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary*. Alex Aja had been attached, and while his take on the grotesque characters of the book (more on that in a moment) would have been fascinating, I am so psyched that Fincher is on board that I cannot explain.
Black Hole is set in the suburbs of Seattle in the mid 70s, and it’s about a group of teens who contract an STD that turns them into subtle mutants and hideous monsters. What’s most interesting about Black Hole is the way the story itself mutates, which is partially because of the fact that it was a serialized tale in 12 parts told over ten years, but it never quite works out the way that you think it will, and in the end coalesces into a truly moving and beautiful story about becoming an adult. It’s a seminal work of graphic fiction or comics or whatever you want to call it – the important thing is that the next time you see someone trying to convince a non-believer that comics can be art with some fucking superhero book, smash that person over the head with the hardcover edition of Black Hole (which you can buy right here).
Black Hole is a story that is highly detailed and intricately visual story; I would never have pegged Fincher for the adaptation, but after Zodiac he just makes so much sense. This news has me so happy that I’m going to pull Black Hole off the shelf and read it again. Charles Burns is going to be signing copies of the book at Skylight Books in Los Angeles on the 29th – you should go by and say hi to him.
You know what? I needed news like this. We write about too many comic book stories lately, and I find myself more and more depressed about the form I used to love. My new roommate is a big comic reader and I’ve been catching up with DC Comics through him, and most of these books are beyond terrible – awful stories, ridiculous art, banal characters, a general sense of malevolence towards the tragic figures shelling out for them by the month. Black Hole is what comics can be, and it’s nice to be reminded that not every comic book movie has to be about male adolescent repressed homosexuality packaged for bloodthirsty, misogynistic, obsessive compulsive 30-40 year olds who can’t move past their childhoods.