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Blankets: An Illustrated Novelby Craig Thompson
Winner of the 2004 Eisner Award for Best Graphic AlbumNew
Winner of the 2004 Eisner Award for Best Writer/Artist
This coming-of-age memoir is told as much through the crisp illustrations as through the text. Thompson's voice and drawings are sweet without being sappy, and despite its unconventional format, Blankets is a very honest, relatable account of falling in love for the first time. This book is unusual among memoirs and also among graphic novels; most graphic novels are several short comics collected in one volume whereas Blankets was written and published as a standalone piece.
"It's a fast read, but Blankets is worth revisiting, if only to luxuriate in its astonishing imagery and pick up all the details you missed the first time when you were too eager to find out what happens next. Thompson's layouts are intricate and organic; instead of the rigid six- or eight-panel pages of standard comics, he varies the shape, size, even the borders of his panels, frequently achieving a collage-like effect that would simply be impossible in any other medium. Like the best comix stories, Blankets emphasizes the medium's exclusive strengths. Thompson's illustrations pack more beauty and power than much prose or poetry, and the frozen images allow the reader's gaze to linger, to examine, to climb inside the picture in ways that film cannot." Chris Bolton, Powells.com (read the entire Powells.com review)
Synopses & Reviews
From the author of the critically-acclaimed and best-selling graphic novel, Good-Bye, Chunky Rice, comes Craig Thompson's all-new masterpiece. Blankets — the most anticipated graphic novel of the year — is already being regarded as THE defining moment of this comix generation.
Wrapped in the landscape of a blustery Wisconsin winter, Blankets explores the sibling rivalry of two brothers growing up in the isolated country, and the budding romance of two coming-of-age lovers. A tale of security and discovery, of playfulness and tragedy, of a fall from grace and the origins of faith. A profound and utterly beautiful work.
"[A] rare combination of sincerity, pictorial lyricism and taste. His exceptional drawings balance representational precision with a bold and wonderfully expressive line for pages of ingenious, inventively composed and poignant imagery." Publishers Weekly
"[This] eagerly awaited follow-up [to Good-bye, Chunky Rice]...is more ambitious, more accomplished, and more accessible....[A] genuine graphic novel, with a universal appeal..." Gordon Flagg, Booklist (Starred Review)
"Blankets is one of the most ambitious original graphic novels ever produced in the medium....More importantly, though, [it] is a poignant document of lessons in discovery and self-realization both universal and enlightening." Peter Siegel, www.artbomb.net
"[A] masterly telling of a moving, deeply human story....More accessible than Chunky Rice, this is highly recommended for adult collections." Library Journal
"I thought it was moving, tender, beautifully drawn, painfully honest, and probably the most important graphic novel since Jimmy Corrigan." Neil Gaiman, award-winning writer and creator of The Sandman
"Blankets officially confirms Craig Thompson's place in the world of graphic novels as one of the true greats." Brian Michael Bendis, writer and creator of Powers and Fortune & Glory
"In this book, Craig Thompson emerges as a young comics master. In the purest narrative form he tells a highly charged personal story, crammed with pain, discovery, hi-jinx, penance, religious conviction and its loss...and along comes self-loathing. In this story of family and first love, that which goes awry in life, goes well as art. Mr. Thompson is slyly self-effacing as he bowls us over with his mix of skills. His expert blending of words and pictures and resonant silences makes for a transcendent kind of story-telling that grabs you as you read it and stays with you after you put it down. I'd call that literature." Jules Feiffer, Pulitzer Prize-Winner
"Craig has documented his youth in the most honest of ways. Not too warm and fuzzy nor too harsh and cold, showing us the insecurities of growing up in what is often a strange and sometimes painful world. The perfect marriage of words and pictures. It's as if Francios Truffaut had written and drawn his own comic with the artistry of Will Eisner. His sense of timing is impeccable, always knowing when not to hit you with a heavy hand. It's the genuine article." Bob Schreck, Group Editor, DC Comics
"[T]his book [is] indeed gifted and destined for a great future....Blankets has the thematic sophistication, emotional sweep and beauty of (visual) language that mark the best novels of any kind....Blankets is a great American novel." Andrew D. Arnold, Time.comix
"Blankets doesn't push the medium's potential forward the way Maus did....What it does do is set a new standard for longform autobiographical comics work, proving that a graphic novel can be both long and intimate, sprawling and intensely personal. (Grade: 5/5)" Alan David Doane, ComicBookGalaxy.com
"The art is more expressive than detailed and yet you never fail to see the emotion he's trying to convey....Blankets is a wonderfully expressive and touching look back at the years when every feeling we had was at its most raw, most affecting and most formative." Chris Ryall, MoviePoopShoot.com
"[A] huge step forward for Thompson's writing, showing a tremendous level of maturity for such a young creator. A great graphic novel needs to have writing and art that works well together, and that's just what we have in Blankets." Greg McElhatton, iComics.com
"[A] bittersweet meditation on family, faith, loss and memory. Thompson complements it with rapturous drawings of winter in northern Michigan and Wisconsin, a season that for all its harshness can be — like Blankets — achingly beautiful." James Poniewozik, Time
Top Shelf is proud to be publishing the next big graphic novel from Craig Thompson. Wrapped in the landscape of a blustery Wisconsin winter, Blankets explores the sibling rivalry of two brothers growing up in the isolated country, and the budding romance of two coming-of-age lovers. A tale of security and discovery, of playfulness and tragedy, of a fall from grace and the origins of faith.
At 592 pages, Blankets may well be the single largest graphic novel ever published without being serialized first. Wrapped in the landscape of a blustery Wisconsin winter, Blankets explores the sibling rivalry of two brothers growing up in the isolated country, and the budding romance of two coming-of-age lovers. A profound and utterly beautiful work from Craig Thompson.
About the Author
Craig Thompson was born in Traverse City, Michigan, in 1975 and raised outside a small town in central Wisconsin. His first graphic novel, Good-Bye, Chunky Rice, won the 1999 Harvey Award for Best New Talent along with nominations for Eisner, Ignatz, Firecracker, and Eagle awards. While working on Blankets, Craig paid the bills writing, drawing, and designing comics and illustrations for Nickelodeon, DC, Dark Horse, Marvel, OWL, National Geographic Kids, and a myriad of other publications. He currently resides in Portland, Oregon.
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