Blankets by Craig Thompson

 

Blankets Craig Thompson

 

I feel like the last person around to finally read Blankets. It got a lot of buzz a while back, but I’m just now getting around to it. I read Habibi by the same Craig Thompson and loved it, so I sought out his other works. I recently read his shorter graphic novel Goodbye, Chunky Rice and didn’t love it – It was a little strange and seemed too short. But I totally get why people raved about Blankets.

Basically Blankets is Craig Thompson’s autobiography, told in the form of one massive (550+ pages) graphic novel. It covers his childhood, his experiences being raised in a Christian household, his struggles as a teenager, and his first love. Dude has got CRAZY talent. And the awesome thing about an autobiography being in this format is that it isn’t just the author droning on about all these little details – instead the author is SHOWING us what happened, showing us conversations and feelings and it’s just so much more powerful and intimate. It appears that Thompson doesn’t really hold back anything – there were some things that were downright disturbing, and he doesn’t sugarcoat his relationships with anybody. According to Wikipedia, his parents actually didn’t talk to him for years after this book came out because it was how he told them that he wasn’t a Christian anymore. Overall, Thompson’s story is interesting and endearing.

Just like with Habibi, the art is stunning and beautiful, although the style is a lot different, of course. But look at that attention to detail! It’s just so fantastic. I took some pics of my favorite pages, you can see those below.

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Click to embiggen, yo.

 

I highly recommend this, just as I did Habibi. You could right it in one long sitting, but I suggest breaking it up to let the story sink in, and to really take the time to appreciate the drawings. I love this big, gorgeous, detailed style of graphic novels. Does anyone know of any similar authors / artists?

Sarah Says: 4 stars

 

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14 comments

  1. I’be not even heard of this one, but it sounds like I would love it. I left a staunchly Catholic household when I was 17 and I’m not sure they’ve ever forgiven me (though they do speak to me, but refuse to acknowledge I left the church).

    I don’t know of any similar stories/styles, but I do enjoy the Locke and Key series.

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    1. You might love it! It was really, really interesting and I liked seeing how he incorporated his childhood and teenage thoughts about religion into his drawings. It’s also cool that he wrote Habibi after exploring Islam too. I like that he’s open-minded and willing to actually think about and explore other religions.

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    1. I really liked it, although I think I might like Habibi just a SMIDGE more. But seeing as how Blankets is about his own life and Habibi is fiction, there’s really not much comparison between them.

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  2. You know, I’ve never read a single graphic novel in my life. But I have this feeling that I would actually like this one. Hmm…maybe I should add it to my to-read list. Do you have any other graphic novels you’d recommend?

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    1. I was never into graphic novels growing up, but I feel like lately I’ve been branching into them a lot more! Here are some I read recently and really enjoyed:
      Habibi by Craig Thompson (by the same author as this book, but fictional about two child slaves and set in the Middle East)
      Feynman by Jim Ottaviani (biography about Richard Feynman, a physicist)
      Relish by Lucy Knisley (biography about Knisley growing up with a love of good food and cooking)
      Maus 1 & 2 by Art Spiegelman (actually I read these last year, they’re about the author’s father during the Holocaust, REALLY good)
      The Walking Dead series by Robert Kirkman (fictional, good if you like zombies)

      WOW so I guess I’ve been more into graphic novels than I realized… although only Habibi and TWD are fictional – apparently I really dig non-fiction graphic novels. It’s a fun medium for non-fiction, I think. Anyways I hope you get to check some out!

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  3. Graphic novels seem to be getting more and more love lately. The best I’ve done so far is read a book made of comic strips, but maybe I should try some classic graphic novel, too, just to see how it feels. I bet they make good readathon material 🙂

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