Charles Burns (born September 27, 1955) is an American cartoonist, illustrator and film director. urns is renowned for his meticulous, high-contrast and creepy artwork and stories. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, painter Susan Moore, and their two daughters Ava and Rae-Rae. His father was an oceanographer for the government. The family moved frequently, living in Colorado, Maryland and Missouri befor e settling in Seattle when Burns was in fifth grade. Charles Burns' earliest works include illustrations for the Sub Pop fanzine, and Another Room Magazine of Oakland, CA, but he came to prominence when his comics were published for the first time in early issues of RAW, the avantgarde comics magazine founded in 1980 by Françoise Mouly and Art Spiegelman. In 1982, Burns did a die-cut cover for RAW #4. Raw Books also published two books of Burns as 'RAW One-Shot': Big Baby and Hard-Boiled Defective Stories. In 1994, he was awarded a Pew Fellowships in the Arts. In 1999, he showed at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Most of Burns' short stories, published in various supports over the decades, were later collected in the three volumes of the "Charles Burns' Library" (hardcovers from Fantagraphics Books): El Borbah (1999), Big Baby (2000), and Skin Deep (2001). (A fourth and last volume, Bad Vibes, has yet to be published, which would have the Library collecting the entirety of his pre-Black Hole comics work.) From 1993 to 2004, he serialized the 12 chapters of his Harvey Award-winning graphic novel Black Hole (12 issues from Kitchen Sink Press and Fantagraphics Books). In October 2005, he released a slightly remastered collection of Black Hole (hardcover from Pantheon Books). In 2007 Burns contributed material for the French made animated horror anthology Peur(s) Du Noir. In October 2010, Burns released the first part of a new series, X'ed Out. Black Hole is a twelve-issue comic book limited series written and illustrated by Charles Burns and published first by Kitchen Sink Press and then Fantagraphics. It was released in collected form in 2005 by Pantheon Books. The story deals with the aftermath of a sexually transmitted disease which causes grotesque mutations in teenagers. The Shooting Star is the tenth of The Adventures of Tintin, a series of classic comic-strip books that were written and illustrated by Belgian writer and illustrator Hergé, featuring young reporter Tintin as a hero. The Shooting Star was first serialized in the newspaper Le Soir in black and white in 1941, and was subsequently published in a colour album in 1942. CBR News: Typically the first question is, "What is the book about?" Someone asked me that about "X'ed Out," and I said the best comparison I could think of was "Tintin" meets "Black Hole.” Charles Burns: There's a little bit of that. There's certainly a very strong Herge influence. If you just think of the FrancoBelgian style of creating comic albums in that format, the way those European make them which is the 64 pages, 48 pages. A hardbound albums with continuing characters. I was one of those rare kids of my generation who grew up reading Tintin and it had a very profound effect on me, so this is the way that I can kind of reflect on that and play with some of those ideas. Pantheon previously published the collection of "Black Hole." What made them the right publisher for this book as well? I enjoyed working with them in the past. They have a great collection of authors that are doing comics. It was just a matter of enjoying working with them and thinking that I was going to give this book its best chance to get out in bookstores. Do your projects typically begin with images, story, themes? What is your process? A little bit of all those things. I had a very vague idea that I wanted to do a comic that took place during the original punk era that I experienced living around the Bay Area in the late seventies. It started out as that. I had a few false starts where I was really doing, not a literal translation, but I was just approaching it in a way that seemed very pedestrian. Very uninteresting, ultimately. I also realized in the process of making notes and gathering ideas, that there were other ideas that were starting to enter into this story. The primary focus wasn't just about punk culture or that time period specifically. It grew out of that and it grew out of a few false starts. You were asking me how I work, and generally I work just by taking notes and notations and little scribbles, drawings, sketches, that sort of thing, and going from there. You have a reputation for meticulous work. Is it just a question that every step takes a lot of time? Yeah, it's a continual thing. In this book in particular, even though I have a skeletal structure for everything in the story, I'm also allowing for a lot of things to enter into it that I'm not anticipating, which is making the whole process interesting for me. The process is, a huge amount of information gets jumbled back and forth and back and forth and then it gets distilled down to very, very specific, very tightly gridded out comics that you finally see.