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Habibi by Craig Thompson

Mysterious "Habibi" Cuts To The Core Of Humanity

A review by Glen Weldon

Craig Thompson's 2003 graphic novel Blankets is a book that people like me hand to people like you when we want you to understand that comics are much more than superheroes -- that they are a medium, a singular means of storytelling with its own rich language, idioms and rules. In Thompson's 600-page semi-autobiographical tome, a young man gripped in the often-painful process of discovering his adult self attempts to forge a spiritual and artistic identity even as he falls helplessly in love with a girl who represents everything his life has been missing. Thompson deftly married spare text to often lyrical imagery to create in the reader the same exhilarating tension of first love that seizes his hero.

Now Thompson brings that mastery of the alchemical mixture of word and picture only possible on the comics page to the much-anticipated Habibi, set somewhere in a modern yet resolutely mythical Middle East. The novel's ambitions are larger than those of Blankets, and its subjects...



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