Yes, I was pretty ttaken with those mirrored images as well, and with the images that were sliced and rearranged in creative ways. I've never seen anything like it before.
I don’t think it’s the format, per say, that troubled me. My eyes can handle bouncing around the bubbles, reading in all caps, and the illustrations definitely promoted the story. I can’t explain it really--with graphic novels or picture books I feel as though I’m walking down hallways lined with windows, and no matter how many turns I make or how differently the windows are arranged, I can still only just peek through to what lies on the other side; when I have more to work with, as I do when there is ample and good narration, I am able to climb through the window and actually enter the world the author creates. (Perhaps this is symptomatic of real life, in which I have always detested being confined indoors.) After all, a picture can only capture a moment in time, a fraction of a second, whereas words, when read, tend to collaborate in my mind and form much more than images, although I admit pictures can also form more than images in one’s mind, which I guess is what you were saying. What it really comes down to is my intention when reading fiction, which is to be pulled into the story and to identify with the characters in some way that affects me, but with Black Hole I could not be pulled in, no matter how much I admired the artwork. And then it is a matter of taste--I am not a visual person. It's funny because I think I would have liked the book a lot more if it had been just drawings. :op
As for the lack of parenting in the book, that was just a gripe and didn’t lower my estimation of the book in any way. I did wonder how such a contagious, palpable disease could go unnoticed by the adults in the book, but then again the adults were rarely mentioned at all. The disease was totally underground, a hint at the underground world of these teens and perhaps teens in general.
I like the two opening illustrations leading up to the illustration of the dissected frog--first a slit, then a gaping incision--which upon first glance reminded me of a vagina, a foreshadowing of the sexual content, no doubt--but also that warns of the grotesqueness and unnaturalness to come when the disease will slice into the bodies and lives of the teens. I didn’t really see the mutations as having a connection with the individuals who sprouted them; they seemed fairly random to me. What about you? I found it interesting how the disease was able to take control in affected teens and subliminally attract a specific unaffected teen as a means of spreading itself and contaminating others, as seen when Chris is suddenly and inexplicably drawn to Rob and when the main character (what’s his name? I’m drawing a blank) is drawn to Eliza. Somehow with these couples the disease leads to the evolvement of full-blown romances, like they’re soul mates or something--kind of cheesy, especially for teens.