New Charles Burns book is a bit raw and difficult to understand. Just like this old Memento movie, but all the sequences are mixed up and don't seem to relate much to each other. The answer is simple – X'ed Out is just the beginning, part 1 of a bigger serialized graphic novel, so it has far too little merit for now on standalone basis.
Well, we'll wait for more, as Burns' longer work (yes, what else, Black Hole, a dark and mesmerizing comic masterpiece) was a total page turner , while his shorter stuff like Skin Deep turned out to be much less sound.
Picture-wise, hard to argue with the whole of world wide web that Burns paid homage to Tintin – however, if the Belgian fellow were indeed involved, this one would've been called “Tintin in the land of drug fueled nightmares“. True so.