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Craig Thompson (1) (1975–)

Author of Blankets

For other authors named Craig Thompson, see the disambiguation page.

26+ Works 9,662 Members 442 Reviews 28 Favorited

About the Author

Image credit: Craig Thompson at Portland's Mount Tabor park, 2007 By Joshin Yamada - Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3604663

Series

Works by Craig Thompson

Blankets (2003) 5,217 copies
Habibi (2011) 1,971 copies
Good-Bye, Chunky Rice (1999) 928 copies
Carnet de voyage (2004) 738 copies
Hellboy: Weird Tales, Vol. 1 (2003) 291 copies
Space Dumplins (2015) 262 copies
Hellboy: Weird Tales, Vol. 2 (2014) 187 copies
Conversation #1 (2004) — Author — 36 copies
Ginseng Roots 1 (2020) 8 copies
Conversation #1 4 copies
Doot Doot Garden (2000) 2 copies
Kissypoo Garden (2007) 1 copy

Associated Works

Daytripper (2010) — Introduction, some editions — 1,221 copies
Revival Volume 1: You're Among Friends (2012) — End page illustrations — 386 copies
The Best American Comics 2013 (2013) — Contributor — 104 copies
The Big Book of the '70s (2000) — Illustrator — 91 copies
Hellboy: Weird Tales (2014) — Contributor — 74 copies
SPX: EXPO 2000 (2000) — Contributor — 70 copies
Dark Horse Maverick: Happy Endings (2002) — Contributor — 50 copies
Little Nemo's big new dreams (2015) — Contributor — 44 copies
Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream (2014) — Contributor, some editions — 26 copies

Tagged

2011 (36) American (50) art (49) autobiography (133) BD (36) biography (50) Christianity (103) comic (179) comics (580) Comics & Graphic Novels (56) coming of age (201) comix (46) craig thompson (40) family (77) fantasy (37) fiction (392) first love (104) friendship (55) graphic (55) graphic novel (1,495) graphic novels (436) Hellboy (57) horror (39) Islam (66) library (37) love (150) memoir (219) Middle East (51) non-fiction (135) read (140) relationships (72) religion (251) romance (101) slavery (37) to-read (560) travel (84) USA (37) Wisconsin (48) YA (46) young adult (48)

Common Knowledge

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Reviews

(No plot summary here, just my thoughts.)

I don't know. This book was exciting to start, but the further and deeper I got into it, I felt confused and uncomfortable. Honestly, the academic side of me feels as if I should reread parts of this to understand it more thematically, but I kind of...just...don't...want to. I'm over this.
I try to keep an open mind in my reviews, however, in this one I'm just going to say this flat out:
I didn't like it. That statement isn't based on the art/plot/character/etc, but in the same way someone might say they don't like a certain food. "Habibi" just wasn't for me.

First of all, this book is 80% drawings of boobs. And that's not to say that *boobs* are the problem-not at all! The problem is there just seems to be little or no purpose to having so many of them drawn in so many ways on SO. MANY. PAGES. Literally every other page there are boobs and the main character herself is topless for most of the book. The boobs don't drive the plot forwards at all- they are largely there for the sexualization of the women characters. Again, I don't have a problem with the nudity, but there needs to be a purpose for it, especially in a graphic novel where most of the reading is visual.
One of the major themes of this book is sex and sexuality- Dodola, the main female character, is sold and raped at a young age. She sleeps with passing men in exchange for food and water. She is later part of a sultan's harem. She is raped again. And although this is part of the story, all of it begins to feel very uneasily sexualized, almost lingered upon simply for the sake of the visual. [I just saw another review where someone called it very voyeuristic, and that's eerily correct. I agree.] I don't think there was a single female character in here that wasn't abused/naked/miserable for all of their arc.
The male main character, Zam, also has a storyline that leans heavily on sex/sexuality, and where that thread went just seemed to ramble on and not add up to much. There are people he encounters who he is told to stay away from because they are "whores", and these characters suffer the brunt of the abuse in that plot. It just began to feel uncomfortable, and not in a way that books are supposed to sometimes feel uncomfortable.
As a reader and a writer, I know not every story is going to be happy or feel-good. Life has uncomfortable moments and books reflect life. "Habibi" isn't meant to be a happy-go-lucky novel. But it really evoked a strong sense of unease- I felt as if I had to tell myself "It's okay, it's just fiction, keep reading" for parts of this. But fiction has a strong impact, and it lingers with you, and this wasn't a story I cared to really remember.

Moving on: the setting/world was so CONFUSING. Everything is built up in a world that feels very Middle Easter, almost Biblical, and then WHAM! There's a Jeep?? And people wearing sunglasses?? And dump trucks?? Oh, but wait, now we're back to camels and tunics and clay jars of water? Oh wait- now there's a FREAKIN PLASTIC WATER BOTTLE COMPANY??!?
I gave up on trying to understand if this was supposed to be a fictional world or a blending of a urban/desert Middle Eastern city. The geography made no sense. The world was confusing.

Also, some of the side characters and scenes were just gross. This is a very biased thing, but they just made me feel sick. The fisherman character, Noah, in the later parts was just incredibly creepy to me. His mental state was really disturbing and I almost stopped reading. It's not a dramatic part of the book, I just simply didn't like it. Same for the short little man in the harem, most of the eunchs, and nearly every main male character.

I think the strongest part of "Habibi" was the art style itself- there were some lovely pages, mostly when Dodola was telling Bible stories or parts of the Quaran. There's a delicate intricacy to the pages that is atmospheric and luring. The artwork is really what's getting most of that second star rating.

Read this if you want. It has a couple small nice moments. The art is good. But it's just not the greatest graphic novel out there.
… (more)
 
Flagged
deborahee | 111 other reviews | Feb 23, 2024 |
I read this book as I was searching for banned comics. The book is really a work of art, showing us the situation of women in the present world. Women are sold as slaves, and people are indifferent. Some of the graphics were very violent. But still, it has depth and compels us to think about how we can make our kind better. People should understand each other. Dodola’s character is that of a strong woman who fights for her existence. Zam’s story was also a shocking one. Although the book is on the violent side, it still has an appeal. I liked the storyline, especially the climax. Definitely, 5 stars for the book.… (more)
 
Flagged
Sucharita1986 | 111 other reviews | Feb 12, 2024 |
Blankets has become one of my favorite graphic novels. This is a deeply engrossing coming-of-age story of an artist growing up in a conservative culture. Its characters are treated with respect and empathy, and the reader is left with hope and respect for the trails that our lives make in the snow.
 
Flagged
vverse23 | 242 other reviews | Jan 9, 2024 |
I read this twice because it was short and I didn't really like it the first time. The second time I think I appreciated it more, but I still found the way Chunky's neighbor-friend talks really annoying. But in a way it's a sweet story. Totally weird, but sweet and sad.
 
Flagged
LibrarianDest | 36 other reviews | Jan 3, 2024 |

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Statistics

Works
26
Also by
13
Members
9,662
Popularity
#2,475
Rating
4.0
Reviews
442
ISBNs
136
Languages
17
Favorited
28

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