Blankets - Craig Thompson

A small story, so beautifully told.

Book Review by Sean Michaels | 17 Mar 2006
Blankets', Craig Thompson's story of first love in the snows of Wisconsin, is a book of crosshatched backgrounds and angular faces, cartoonish dreams and flights of fancy. It's also one of the most affecting romances I've ever read, not just bittersweet but also in places simply bitter, simply sweet. Since its publication in 2003, 'Blankets' has become part of the graphic novel canon – a hefty tome to set beside Maus, Jimmy Corrigan, Persepolis and the Sandman saga. But whereas the others strike out into new narrative territory to tell new stories (or else familiar stories in very new ways), 'Blankets' is just the tale of Craig and Raina. As these lovers share dreams or hide under a table, as they walk alone in the snow or listen to the car radio, they evoke any number of other works – songs, novels, films. No, Blankets doesn't feel fundamentally new, but more than any of the aforementioned works it feels self-containedly great. I turn each page with tenderness and fascination, wondering at the sudden sweep of an image, the haltering speech-bubbles that emerge from mouths. Part Calvin & Hobbes, part David Gordon Green, part lingering memory. A small story, so beautifully told. [Sean Michaels]
Published by Top Shelf. Out Now. (Cover Price £19.99)