El Borbah by Charles Burns

While waiting for Charles Burns‘ latest installment of what I call the Tintin on drugs trilogy, I purchased El Borbah, an old collection of “defective detective” stories published in mid-1980s. From my count, this is the only published book by Burns that I haven’t read so far.

Also, if I’m not mistaken, El Borbah was Burns’ debut work the sickness and talent of which further evolved into the mesmerizing tale of Black Hole, which I guess I have to pick up from my shelf and re-read.

As the notion of defective detective may suggest, El Borbah is a tale – well, tales – about a series of cases solved by a wrestler-lookalike private eye that breaks bad boys’ noses and finds missing lads and ladies. The stories are short, wicked, beautifully drawn – too sad that I am lazy, get sucked into the storyline quickly and thus spend far too little time on each page, which is a shame.

A perfect addition to and a true enhancement of El Borbah experience would be, in yours truly humble opinion, finishing the book by watching Guy Maddin’s Sombra Dolorosa, a 2004 short that pays homage to Lucha Libre / Mexican wrestling.

I am making (yet another futile) promise to myself – read Black Hole, read Black Hole, read Black Hole – and I am waiting in awe for Sugar Skull to come out.


One Comment on “El Borbah by Charles Burns”

  1. This was one of my all time favorites!

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