BURNS, Charles


BURNS, Charles
(1955-)
   US COMIC-strip artist and writer, born in Washington DC and now based in Philadelphia. The drawing of his FABULATIONS displays a strange, heavily stylized vision; his work has been widely published in Italy (notably in Vanity), Spain (El Vibora) and France (METAL HURLANT) as well as in his native USA (Heavy Metal, Village Voice, National Lampoon, Face and Death Rattle). His famous El Borbah strips, collected as El Borbah (graph coll 1985) and as Hard-Boiled Defective Stories (graph coll 1988), feature an eponymous private eye who is not so much hard-boiled as rock-hard-boiled. El Borbah has a black metal head with only rudimentary features, and wears only a black shiny leotard and black boots; his surreal adventures often contain sf elements. The series shows the influence of Chester Gould (of Dick Tracy fame) in its heavy-line style and its bizarre characters. Here, as in his serial Big Baby (collected as Big Baby: Curse of the Molemen graph coll 1986) and his continuing self-syndicated strip distributed to freesheets and street-level papers throughout the USA, CB creates a world peopled by the inhabitants and served by the machinery of US 1950s B-movies.
   RT/SW
   Other work: Teen Plague (graph 1989), epic horror story; Skin Deep (graph 1992).

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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