Blankets (Craig Thompson) almost instantly became one of my favorite illustrated novels. It is not a comic (as comics I see as slim), however more a graphic novel. I read this book cover to cover in one sitting, and it is a big, fat volume.
The story is autobiographical about the authors coming of age and first adolescent love. It tells the story of his life growing up in an evangelical christian family, honest and confronting childhood experiences,spirituality, as well as his aching, almost surreal long term relationship with his long distance girlfriend. It is a story of his deep relationship with religion, to his questioning and eventual level of deciding he will no longer be a Christian. The main theme of this book, is first love. The author meets his first love on church camp, and later spends a summer with her. It reflects that undying, ‘aching to see you’, ‘never felt so close to anyone else’ love that is usually a state of a first teenage relationship. It covers the summer spent together, and the gradual shift in states to the end of summer when one realises not only will they not be able to maintain a long distance relatioship, but that the person they adored has become all too…human.
The artwork is too great to sum in words. Capturing the beautiful American winter, as well as imagination, childhood reminiscences, emotion and day dreams. The authors honestly and ability to describe emotion with such clarity and passion that it will leave you thinking about it for hours after. Again, it is a coming of age story. Something all of us have (hopefully) gone through, and can empathize with.
This is not a book you will find in a bookstore. Try your local library, I know Geelong has a copy. Our if you wish a copy of your own, go to ‘All star Comics’ in my where to find.