Saturday, 11 April 2009

Blankets - Craig Thompson

Read: February 2006

Surely one of the most emotively drawn graphic novels, Blankets is a biographical story about childhood and growing up. Set in the snow covered Midwest, Craig Thompson lives in a devout Christian family, sharing a bed with his brother and cowering from school bullies. He finds comfort in drawing and meets a girl he meets at Christian Camp. Suddenly he finds the world may not be so hopeless after all. So begins a whirlwind teenage romance with all the associated longing and discovery. Blankets is a first-love story told with warmth and honesty. There is something for everyone to empathise with in the desperate bubbling of excited desire. But will Craig find spiritual peace when everything he sees and experiences is contrary to the teachings of his upbringing?

Full of interwoven themes and with bible passages to emphasise his meaning, Blankets is an intelligent recollection of childhood. It is a perfect starting place for graphic novel virgins. Like Persepolis it resonates with humanity and is simple and easy to follow. The desolate snow capped scenes are easy on the eye and welcoming. Indeed, Blankets is like a security blanket, thick and secure feeling it invites you to wallow in all that is recognisable about childhood and growing up.

There is something very satisfying about reading 600 pages in barely two hours but you could as easily spend days studying some of the wonderfully imaginative and superbly realised artwork. A joy to read.

7 out of 10

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