Book Review: Blankets by Craig Thompson

Ten Word Summary: An empathetic story of love, faith and their ultimate loss.

First, I have to get this thing out of the way: If you’re the person who flips open a book, find it’s full of pictures, and shove it away, you need to give this book a chance. This is not a superhero comic. This is a mature graphic novel, deep in symbology, but mostly, deeply emotional.

blankets

Blankets is a graphic novel that tells the timeless tale of the first love, and not any love for that matter – the author’s/illustrator’s own first love. The story is a highly charged personal affair, blending many issues that everyone deals with – most certainly the bloggers I have been following – namely love, parents, obligations towards them and society, expectations, religious faith and devotion, self-loathing, and, between all of this: You.

Reading this graphic novel is like reading your own life, right in front of you. It’s beautiful not necessarily because of the story itself, but rather for the humanity of it; we all sport different personalities, different interests, and different cultures, yet emotions are what unite us all, and this book is painfully honest with them. Honest enough to remind you of the mental guilt trips and meshed thoughts that precede fornication, and the warmth of sleeping next to a loved one. It’s honest enough to show you how it feels like at the other end of the phone’s *click*. It’s honest enough to portray the internal struggle of shame vs honor vs expectations vs wants vs have-to’s. It’s honest to show the pain of divorce, the difficulty of having handicapped siblings, and parents who like to adulterate your childhood by forcing you to grow up. It’s just honest.

What fleshes out the story, though, is the art. I’ve read my share of comics and graphic novels – some of which were also mature – but the artwork here is wrapped around the emotions of the scenes. The creativity that comes with the symbology is beautiful. Juxtapositions in a frame between past and present, what’s being thought and what’s being spoken, and what is isn’t make the art inseperable from the text and emotions that flow out of both.

The book is thick at 580 pages, but I finished it in three sittings in one day. It’s immersive enough to warrant a reread of certain sections or chapters as well.

Bottom Line: It’s a rare gem you ought to have in your library. Recommended by giants such as Jules Feiffer and Neil Gaiman, what’s stopping you from picking this up?

  • http://diarysequel.blogspot.com/ asoom

    Authors should totally pay you to review their books. You made this book sounds like grand literature. I’ve never even heard of it but now I totally want to read it-except it sounds like something that makes you depressed after reading.

  • http://diarysequel.blogspot.com asoom

    Authors should totally pay you to review their books. You made this book sounds like grand literature. I’ve never even heard of it but now I totally want to read it-except it sounds like something that makes you depressed after reading.

  • Anonymous

    LOOOL Asoom! Actually it will make you feel good. That is how I felt anyway. Just be wary, it has nudity

  • http://blog.jarofjuice.com KJ

    LOOOL Asoom! Actually it will make you feel good. That is how I felt anyway. Just be wary, it has nudity

  • http://diarysequel.blogspot.com/ asoom

    if it ends in divorce, breakups, or any type of separation I will not be happy

  • http://diarysequel.blogspot.com asoom

    if it ends in divorce, breakups, or any type of separation I will not be happy

  • http://hammouz.blogspot.com/ hamza

    thanks for the review.

    its worth a try for ppl like me who didn’t attempt reading graphics novels before. :)

  • http://hammouz.blogspot.com hamza

    thanks for the review.

    its worth a try for ppl like me who didn’t attempt reading graphics novels before. :)

  • Anonymous

    Asoom -
    Hmmph. It’s honest :P

    Hamza -
    Of course it is, though I dunno if you can find it in any bookstore.

  • http://blog.jarofjuice.com KJ

    Asoom -
    Hmmph. It’s honest :P

    Hamza -
    Of course it is, though I dunno if you can find it in any bookstore.

  • http://myfog-dania.blogspot.com/ Dania

    You know without reading this post, I wouldn’t have even considered the thought of flipping through it, bad shallow me!

    I’m certainly getting that book!
    Thanx KJ.

  • http://myfog-dania.blogspot.com Dania

    You know without reading this post, I wouldn’t have even considered the thought of flipping through it, bad shallow me!

    I’m certainly getting that book!
    Thanx KJ.

  • malfegor

    well maybe I not the more emotional person in this world, in fact I gave gift to my girlfriend a Generic Viagra vial, but as you say a book can’t be judge by the cover, not all graphic novel are about guns, blood, violence and sex, maybe this kind of book will be the key to awaken once again the romanticism in the world.