Blankets – Craig Thompson

To be honest, I don’t really want to tell you much about Blankets. I want you to go in and discover for yourself how great it is.

However, this is a review. So I can’t just go and send you off on blind faith.

So.

Here we go.

Plot Summary

It’s an autobiographical (or at least semi-autobiographical) account of Craig, and his relationship with romance and God and his family. It’s about obsession; and duty; and the loss of innocence. It’s about self-discovery and self-destruction. It’s about Craig growing up learning what type of person he wants to become.

Cons

I did not realise this was adult fiction.

I went into this thinking it was a light, happy read with a bit of angst thrown in.

Oops.

(The lesson here is check the age rating before you start reading, because I did not mentally prepare myself for some of the scenes. I guess it’s better that way. More of the intended effect. But it definitely taught me not to read Blankets in crowded public spaces.)

Pros

I don’t want to give too much away, and I don’t exactly know where to begin, so these will be short.

The artwork was completely beautiful. I loved how expressionistic it was, portraying Craig’s feelings through a sort of visual metaphor (there’s probably an actual term for that, but I don’t read a lot of graphic novels so I have no clue).

The way the bible verses or teachings were interposed with Craig’s life, for example in the first chapter with the cubby hole. That was like super cool. Everything about the way the story was structured and the drawings were positioned was mega cool. I don’t know how it compares to other graphic novels because I don’t read very many, but I’m sure it’s good.

I don’t feel like I can exactly comment on the plot or the characters, since it’s (semi?) autobiographical, but I will say that it kept me reading and engaged and putting off work that I really should have been doing.

The theme of the dangers of obsession was extremely interesting, but I won’t get too far into that, because I won’t be able to explore it half as well as Blankets did, so you should just read it. I know, the book is massive, but it won’t take that long.

Because the book isn’t really a comment on religion. Sure, we see how Craig deals with it, but it never preaches to you. It shows you one example of Craig’s intense relationships, and lets you do whatever you want with that information. And that’s the beautiful subtlety of the book. It lets you decide what you take from it.

Basically, everything was beautiful and evocative and made you think without shoving opinions down your throat. It was gorgeous and you should read it.

Overall

You should read it.

It might make you cry.

It might make you sit back and re-evaluate your life.

Yeah, I think so.

5 shuriken stars.

(though yes it has some adult content and if graphic nudity/all kinds of violence/naughty words/sex isn’t your kind of thing, then maybe take a second before you pick it up. But the rest of you. Go out and read it. Go.)

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