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Blankets by Craig Thompson

Blankets (edition 2003)

by Craig Thompson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,6991821,418 (4.11)247
Authors:Craig Thompson
Info:Top Shelf Productions (2003), Paperback, 592 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Jensbooks, comics, autobiography

Work details

Blankets by Craig Thompson

Recently added byprivate library, sandrikoti, fkhicdawgybe, SQbeth, ReadFuriously, Yardape, hobbithelen, tarheel
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» See also 247 mentions

English (165)  Dutch (3)  Danish (3)  French (3)  Catalan (2)  Spanish (2)  Italian (1)  All languages (179)
Showing 1-5 of 165 (next | show all)
Craig Thompson’s graphic novel Blankets caught my eye at the public library a few weeks ago. It was in the Staff Picks section, and it had a yellow, foot-shaped post-it note on the front. On the foot was a glowing handwritten review about how beautiful the story and illustrations of Blankets are. And a plus: the story is set in Wisconsin and Michigan! So I picked it up.

The staff member who wrote the mini-review was right: this book is gorgeous. Thompson’s black-and-white illustrations are lovely, but the most beautiful thing about the book is the author (and main character’s) sensitivity. Thompson’s story is about growing up: as a rural Wisconsinite, an older brother, and a devout (but questioning) Christian. It’s also about falling in love, “broken” families, and heartache. Thompson represents all of his experiences with thoughtfulness and grace. It’s a story of growth and coming to terms with hardships and difficult belief systems.

If you’re a sensitive, observant type, or if you’ve ever been interested in art, or fallen in love, or tried so hard to figure out what you believe and how your belief system has affected you, this book is for you. Craig is a very relatable character and an excellent storyteller. ( )
  blackrabbit89 | May 6, 2016 |
Only a few months into my exploration of graphic novels and I have now found a second graphic novelist I have high regards for (the first being Adrian Tomine). Craig Thompson has created a beautiful work here that truly shows how graphics can transform a story. You see, a quick glance at a summary of this book reveals how shallow the plot is. Likewise, a quick flip-through of the novel shows how juvenile the art is. And yet, delve into Blankets and you'll find there are many more layers than those that lie a the surface.

Blankets is artistically simple, yet it's full of life and detail. It's not evident at first, but close attention to the way the panels fit together and interact with one another really shows how this medium can be used effectively. In a similar fashion, the story is pretty much your run-of-the-mill coming-of-age love story. Go a little deeper and there's more. Unpeel that layer and you'll find another. No, Blankets isn't so multi-faceted that it's brilliant and unlike another other story, but it does contain a layer that is quite beautiful. It has the potential to connect with the reader in a way many books struggle with.

At 592 pages, Blankets is quite lengthy by graphic novel standards, but that doesn't mean it'll take long to read. In fact, I felt the end came too quick. The epilogue was sudden and only provided answers to the questions the reader wasn't actually asking. I would've gladly accepted one more chapter; though I dislike stories with neatly tied-together endings, I would've taken slightly more resolution with this one. But that desire for more just leaves me hungry for the next Thompson novel I can get my hands on. ( )
  chrisblocker | Apr 1, 2016 |
Growing up with a religion in your life can be pretty painful. A beautiful autobiographical work with amazing illutrations that makes you think about the role of God and religion in children's life. Incredible! ( )
  Glaucialm | Feb 18, 2016 |
This story succeeds in its gut-wrenching portrayal of youth- all the vulnerability and idealism that drive adolescents to one emotional maelstrom to the next. This book does not lack charm or nostalgia- but I feel that it falls short. The story is familiar- but not enough to feel universal. I would not go as far as to say that it felt 'tired' - but perhaps a less harsh version of that complaint. ( )
  Alidawn | Jan 16, 2016 |
Summary: This graphic memoir tells the story of one winter in our teenage protagonist's life. Raised with his brother in a very strictly Christian and borderline abusive household, Craig's only escape from his home life and the bullies at school is his art - which his fundamentalist faith causes him to question. At a winter-break church camp, things don't seem much better, until he meets Raina. They fall quickly and deeply in love, although since she lives far away, their relationship is bound to have its share of problems. Eventually Craig goes to visit, only to find out that while Raina's family may be very different from its own, it has its share of problems as well. Now they must both learn to navigate the waters of adulthood to deal with their families - and their feelings for each other.

Review: I liked a lot of elements about this one, even though it was a fairly standard coming of age story. I felt the anguish and the ecstasy of first love, the way you feel like this is it and this is the only thing that matters in the universe, forever, and nothing can ever go wrong until everything goes wrong. I thought it had some interesting things to say about faith, whether that faith is in God or in other people or in yourself. I like Thompson's artwork a lot - it's simple but it's expressive and really conveys a lot of emotion but doesn't feel heavy. But above everything else, this book made me nostalgic. For my own high-school loves, sure, but mostly for an upper Midwest winter. Thompson renders the feeling of deep winter so perfectly and so clearly that it's practically another character. As a Yankee transplant to the South, I don't miss the reality of winter - chapped lips and dry skin and constantly cold toes - but the starkness of a snowy woods at night, or looking up into the snowfall and feeling like you're falling upwards, or just the simple pleasure of being warm and cozy inside when it's miserable outside… that I miss. But the rest of the story is well done and interesting and genuinely touching, too, and I like that I didn't get the happy ending that I thought I wanted. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: While I don't know that I would say something like "this is a graphic novel everyone should read", I can see how it ends up on those sorts of lists, and it would certainly be one that I think would be a good starting point for someone unfamiliar with the genre. ( )
1 vote fyrefly98 | Nov 1, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 165 (next | show all)
Blankets is an attempt to rejuvenate such well-trod themes as social isolation, religious guilt, and first love; the vitality of which has become too frequently obscured by countless hackneyed dramas and endless clichés. Toward the very end of this “illustrated novel,” Craig notes, while walking in snow, how “satisfying it is to leave a mark on a blank surface.” In Blankets, Thompson does just this: through daring leaps of visual storytelling, he makes wonderfully fresh marks upon a surface long worn blank.
In telling his story, which includes beautifully rendered memories of the small brutalities that parents inflict upon their children and siblings upon each other, Thompson describes the ecstasy and ache of obsession (with a lover, with God) and is unafraid to suggest the ways that obsession can consume itself and evaporate.
added by stephmo | editNew York Times, Ken Tucker (Sep 13, 2003)
...credit writer-artist Craig Thompson, 27, for infusing his bittersweet tale of childhood psyche bruising, junior Christian angst, and adolescent first love with a lyricism so engaging, the pages fly right by.
I would be unlikely to share Blankets with someone who told me they wanted to understand comix. Instead, I would give it to anyone who told me they wanted to read a book that made them feel transcendent, sad, generous, hopeful — but above all, to truly feel something.
added by stephmo | editPowells.com, Chris Bolton (Aug 23, 2003)
Part teen romance novel, part coming-of-age novel, part faith-in-crisis novel and all comix, "Blankets" is a great American novel.
added by stephmo | editTIME, Andrew Arnold (Jul 11, 2003)

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thompson, Craigprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Assis, ÉricoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
David, AlainTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dohmen, ToonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fliege, Claudiasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my family, with love.
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When we were young, my little brother Phil and I shared the same bed.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Loosely based on the author's life, chronicles Craig's journey from childhood to adulthood, exploring the people, experiences, and beliefs that he encountered along the way.

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