Books, Features November 10, 2010 By Jesse Montgomery

charlesburns page3 Charles Burns Interviewfiller185 Charles Burns InterviewX’ed Out is being released serially. Do you think reading it is going to be a strange experience for readers who are primarily familiar with graphic novels or collected works?
I think it might be. I’m releasing the book in kind of an odd way. I’m taking this Franco-Belgian style of book – their version of our comic pamphlets – a hardbound book that’s not that long, not a giant read, and putting out a series. Mine does end with a cliffhanger — it does end with a kind of “to be continued” sort of thing — which I could imagine would be frustrating for some people, but when I started writing the story, I wanted to have it in segments like this. …. When the book was being sold, a publisher was like “this is a really short graphic novel” because now this term ‘graphic novel’ is a term everyone knows. But if you do something that doesn’t conform to that, suddenly you’ve created this other thing. It’s not going to be a graphic novella, or whatever. It’s what it is. This is the form I wanted to use to tell the story.

At present, there’s precious little information circulating about X’ed Out, which is your first major release in several years. So, what is X’ed Out?
See, that’s where I’m gonna stumble every single time I get interviewed. The story is partially about a protagonist named Doug. It takes place in the U.S. in an undisclosed city at the end of the ’70s. …. I was around the Bay area punk scene from 1977 to 1979, it had a real impact on me, and I wanted to do a story that dealt with that subject matter. Part of that would involve — I hate to use the word “experimental” — slightly more experimental story telling, imagery that would come out of a character’s subconscious, and a less typically linear narrative path.

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