Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Next, I re-read Blankets by Craig Thompson, also for class. I read it a couple of years ago & loved it and decided it was worth a re-read. This is a "literary" comic (at least that's how I think of it), one I'd recommend to those who are skeptical of the value of comic books. Or, I guess I really should call it a graphic novel - it's over 500 pages long. Unfortunately, the length tends to put kids off, since they're programmed to avoid long books. They forget how quickly comics read - or they just don't want to carry it around.
Anyway, Blankets is a coming of age, sweetly romantic, semi-autobiographical graphic novel about a teen boy who falls in love for the first time, recalls his childhood in rural Wisconsin, and begins to question the Christian faith that is such an important part of his parents' life. It contains some nudity, but nothing is graphic or vulgar. It's a believable part of the story, not gratuitous. This story really touches me and is so believable. Craig's relationship with Raina is right on for teen love & longing, and his memories of sharing a bed with his brother ring true (I especially love their pee fight); I think Thompson does an excellent job, in words and pictures, of capturing the doubts, fears and confusions of the teen years , the intensity of first love and the bitter disappointment of it's end. If you never read another comic, read this one just to see what all the fuss is about.

Thompson, Craig. Blankets. Marietta, GA: Top Shelf Publications, 2003. ISBN 1891830430. $29.95.


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