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Craig Thompson


Page 45 Review by Mark

Growing up in the Wisconsin countryside, Craig and his brother seem to be the only friends for each other but even then Craig, the older one, doesn't keep his sibling safe as he should. The father is overbearing, occasionally violent and when the winter is around them the only sanctuary they have is a blank sheet of paper for their imaginations to go wild on. College and Christian winter camp prove to be problematic; Craig is too weak a flower amongst the sports-heads but there's a chink of light in the form of Raina, a poet who turns to be his muse.

The art is just stunning. He's studied Will Eisner and pushed it a little further, at times reminding me of a looser version of David B.'s THE EPILEPTIC with all the fantastic metaphors coming to the surface and interacting with the characters. The blankets turn up as physical objects (the one the brothers sleep under, a gift from Raina, the snow that obliterates the landscape) and as the safety of religion, family and love.

A few pull quotes for you:

"I thought it was moving, tender, beautifully drawn, painfully honest, and probably the most important graphic novel since JIMMY CORRIGAN." - Neil Gaiman

"Blankets officially confirms Craig Thompson's place in the world of graphic novels as one of the true greats." - Brian Michael Bendis

"In this book, Craig Thompson emerges as a young comics master. In the purest narrative form he tells a highly charged personal story, crammed with pain, discovery, hi-jinx, penance, religious conviction and its loss … and along comes self-loathing. In this story of family and first love, that which goes awry in life, goes well as art. Mr. Thompson is slyly self-effacing as he bowls us over with his mix of skills. His expert blending of words and pictures and resonant silences makes for a transcendent kind of story-telling that grabs you as you read it and stays with you after you put it down. I'd call that literature." - Jules Feiffer, Pulitzer Prize-Winner

"Craig has documented his youth in the most honest of ways. Not too warm and fuzzy nor too harsh and cold, showing us the insecurities of growing up in what is often a strange and sometimes painful world. The perfect marriage of words and pictures. It's as if Francios Truffaut had written and drawn his own comic with the artistry Will Eisner. His sense of timing is impeccable, always knowing when not to hit you with a heavy hand. It's the genuine article." - Bob Schreck, Group Editor, DC Comics