It seems as though `The Hole' can be read on various different levels. For someone that never really read comic books and only delved into the short strips in a newspaper, I expected that the content within this graphic novel would be a new and inviting experience for me. I quickly learned that I couldn't read this as a simple novel. The leaps back and forth through time and the different character storylines offered more than a basic novel. Plus as a novice comic reader, I had to adjust to taking in the imagery especially of artwork so detailed and graphic. The commonality of the different characters from the very loose and hoe-ish Trina, to the aggressive and angry Curtis though dark and sinister were all representatives of the realities of African American culture and the things we see throughout our communities. Within `The Hole' were representations of the images that we are bombarded with daily and their subliminal messages including the portrayal of the Black Man as violent thugs on tv and in video games (unfortunately barraging our youth), the over sexualized images of Black Women and the references to her defined by her body or demeaned as a [...] or hoe. It's easy to be drawn the details of each image both visually and literally in what the characters are saying or doing, as well as the meaning behind various depiction as in the representation of `Allmart', the Nazi symbol tattooed on Curtis, and the depiction of Voodoo in comparison to Christianity or Islam within our culture. I found myself reading `The Hole' in different modes...at times studying and seeking meaning behind the story as when Trina was swallowed up into Curtis chest and the relevance of drug use. Still at times (as when reading a basic novel) empathizing and just feeling the emotion of the story and anticipating what would happen next like in the case of young Trina wanting to spend quality time with her father and his shopping spree not being a substitute for him being there. When she walked in on seeing her father smoked up/on fire, you couldn't help but wonder about her character but still relate to the reality of how our young girls are impacted by the lack of affection or presence by their fathers and what results when they become adults. This book addresses so many issues from religion to war, the pushing of pharmaceutical drugs to medicate so-called human illnesses (ADA, etc), sex, and race. In reading this book, you can't help but complete it with a feeling that you have to re-read it to find the next level of meaning to what you just read. I don't think you can read this book just for the comic story, or you won't like it and will miss a lot and yet still the book at times can be overwhelming making you wonder did I really understand. Overall, `The Hole' can take you out of your comfort zone with the dark, sexual, and complexity of images and substance and it challenges you to delve deeper, which to me is a pleasant surprise from graphic novel.