A guest review of the graphic novel, Blankets…
Author: Craig Thompson
Pages: 592 (Hardcover)
Genre: Autobiography, Graphic Novel
Age Recommendation: 17+
Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly
‘Maybe I’m sad about wanting you. I’m not too comfortable with wanting someone.’
Where do I begin? Blankets is an autobiographical-coming-of-age- graphic novel, a mouthful and, most importantly, a heartful. After being engulfed in historical, fighting manga for a while I was on the hunt for something a bit different, and I couldn’t have found something more different if I tried.
Blankets is beautiful. The art is gorgeous, sketchy and simplistic when appropriate (even surreal at times) capturing and driving the emotional evolution of the story to the point where there’s no other word to describe it APART from beautiful.
However, Thompson creates this beauty out of darkness. Blankets is essentially a love story and an incredible one. It follows the story of author Craig as he becomes an adult, or rather the conflicting emotions and responsibility of suddenly being one. Both a story about loving a girl and a story about learning to love being alive. This graphic novel explores issues from the entire spectrum: family, obsession, abuse, love, disability and, most strikingly, faith; using a combination of childhood stories and young adult memories to create a complete depiction of what it is like to simply to be human.
Reading Blankets is like having every aspect of being alive dissected in front of you; and even though it is autobiographical in nature, it is so compelling it becomes personal.
This graphic novel is gripping, poetic (even meditative) and brutally honest. An experience, but a beautiful one from start to finish. It is undoubtedly written for a more mature audience, not only due to content but because experience with even a taste of adulthood is enough to truly connect with what Thompson has to say. Blankets is beautiful both visually and in narrative. I can’t praise it enough.