Anyone who reads about comics has most likely read about Blankets by Craig Thompson. Since I have read about it so many freakin’ times, I decided to finally read it myself. It is a pretty dense book, an autobiography from when he was in high school and a bit of grade school. It was not quite what I expected, but I didn’t really have much expectation.
Art: 4 stars
The art was functional. It was a style meant to tell a story. And it did that very well. The style changed to fit the story while still remaining consistent. An admirable feat, now that I think about it. At times, the art was strikingly beautiful. There are pages or panels that I could see framed on the wall, particularly the snow and the trees.
Story: 4 stars
It didn’t amaze, but it amazed me more as Abe and I discussed it. The story is sweet and slow, worth a read. Thompson’s book covers his first falters with god and his first love and how his relationship with god and his girlfriend affect each other. I’m not a religious person. Most of the issues that bring about his quandaries and qualms were what made me become not religious in grade school. So I have a hard time identifying with his problems. I also didn’t date in high school, so 0 for 2 there.
He seems like a bit of a drama queen, at least as the story is told, and a bit of a fire bug. But maybe I am overreacting as someone who never gets rid of anything. Granted, he is a teen. Lots of teens are fire bugs and drama queens. He is quite passionate. I did find myself wondering how much of the story was exaggeration. I did not really like the girlfriend because she was so contradictory, but she is really a tragic character. There isn’t a way out of her situation and that makes for this back and forth trying to find the right answer.
I found it thought provoking. All of the characters seem pretty tragic, which is even sadder in an autobiography. He never directly writes about it, but he seems to have been in almost as bad a situation as his girlfriend. While hers was all about her environment and not really directed on her, his was all directed on him, physically and emotionally. Instead of showing the abuse on himself, he more hints at it by showing his inability to protect his brother from the same fate. She couldn’t leave her family in the lurch; he could leave but he was so young and lost. Some of the past he reveals leaves me wondering how this book affected his relationship with his family. It is heart-crushingly real at times.
Overall: 4 stars
I would recommend Blankets. It is an interesting story, though sad, and I read through the whole thing. I bet it would be more poignant for people who have struggled more than I have with their faith.
Abe also reviewed Blankets.
Abe also reviewed Blankets.