This is a big, absolutely beautiful book.
Habibi is one of those books that I knew I had heard of before, but I don’t really remember from where or anything about it. When I was browsing around the graphic novel section at my library, I came across it and vaguely recognized it and decided to check it out. It’s a sprawling, epic story, but I’m going to give you the description from the book’s website because it just sums it up better:
From the internationally acclaimed author of BLANKETS (“A triumph for the genre.”—Library Journal ), a highly anticipated new graphic novel.
Sprawling across an epic landscape of deserts, harems, and modern industrial clutter, HABIBI tells the tale of Dodola and Zam, refugee child slaves bound to each other by chance, by circumstance, and by the love that grows between them.
At once contemporary and timeless, HABIBI gives us a love story of astounding resonance: a parable about our relationship to the natural world, the cultural divide between the first and third worlds, the common heritage of Christianity and Islam, and, most potently, the magic of storytelling.
This book is definitely massive enough that I couldn’t fly through it like I would the usual graphic novel – I read it in about 3 or 4 sittings. The story was captivating enough – like it says above, it’s about two child slaves and their bond as they grow older and are faced with the various hardships in their environment. Dodola and Zam’s story is touching and sad.
What really makes me love this book and planning to buy my own copy is the art. THE ART. I took a few pictures that you can see below – it was hard to pick pages that showed the beauty and detail but also didn’t give away parts of the story. The entire book is done in black and white, but it is so goddamn GORGEOUS. I now have the highest respect for Craig Thompson, because damn.
So basically that’s all I have to say. It’s big, and it’s beautiful – both the story, and the book itself. Absolutely worth the read. I’m looking forward to hitting up the library again next week for Craig Thompson’s other works (probably Blankets, which I’ve heard fabulous things about).
Sarah Says: 4.5 stars