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“Blankets” by Craig Thompson: an illustrated novel review

“Blankets” by Craig Thompson is a unique and mature graphic novel which was never a collection of comic issues, but a decidedly heavy and intentional one-shot novel told through pictures and text. A hefty 400+ page black-and-white journey with dark issues that are anything but black-and-white, this tale is ambiguous enough that many may not know how to feel about it, and some may not even like it — but if you consider yourself a lover of well-executed visual art or if you are a graphic novel aficionado, read this right away.

This title is so close to a 5 but the end was a bit to ambiguous for me. The meat of Thompson’s story, however, is truly a novel; a well-written one, that happened to be illustrated, and deserves respect.

This is an adult book for 17 and up, and here are a few reasons:

Implied molestation, child abuse, child negligence, scenes showing the difficulties of mental retardation and family life, drug use, violence, harsh language, nudity, frontal male gentials and topless females, and scenes discussing, inferring, and almost showing the act of masturbation.

So yeah. Adult stuff.

I would love to ask Craig why he felt he had to tell THIS story in THIS style, (why not just a real novel), but that question is kind of answered in the text. This is a story about finding our purpose in life; making decisions to live for others or ourselves or God. It also touches on how many of us felt growing up: awkward and wishing for acceptance and love. Some of us still feel that.

It’s a story loaded, and I mean freakin’; loaded with Christian guilt and hypocracies, showing how bad organized religion can be for a particular youth. And he backs up the claim of why he lost his faith in this novel. You’ll see. Oh, you’ll see literally. Or is it “graphically”?

Top 20 Most important graphic/illustrated novels of all time, I’d guess.

4/5

MH

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