Charles Burns (born September 27, 1955) is an American cartoonist, illustrator and film director. Burns 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 young daughters Ava and Rae-Rae. His father was an oceanographer for the government. The family moved frequently, living in Colorado, Maryland and Missouri before 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 avant-garde 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.Burns' high-profile illustrations include work for the Iggy Pop album Brick by Brick. His art was also licensed by The Coca-Cola Company to illustrate product and advertising material for their failed OK Soda product. More recently, he has worked on advertising campaigns for Altoids and portrait illustrations for The Believer. In the early 1990s, his Dogboy stories were adapted by MTV as a live-action serial for Liquid Television. In 1991, choreographer Mark Morris commissioned him to create illustrations that were then used as a basis for his version of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker, calling it The Hard Nut. Burns's style was a source of inspiration for Martin Ander's artwork for Fever Ray, Karin Dreijer Andersson's solo project.It is hard to find original art by Charles Burns for sale, and his lithographs sells out fast - and becomes highly sought-after collector's items. This is an artist of a rare quality - and his comic stories are already modern classics.