Blankets

Blankets

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....

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Title:Blankets
Author:Craig Thompson
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Blankets Reviews

  • Seth T.

    Craig Thompson, for all the lack of works in his bibliography, is one of the best creators working in comics today. Apart from

    , he has only released one other major work of fiction. (His third,

    , will be released this Fall.)

    There are any number of reasons that Thompson's work should be lauded. His art is gorgeous and his brushline expressive. He treats personal topics with a sense of both whimsy and honesty. He writes true experiences, even when they'

    Craig Thompson, for all the lack of works in his bibliography, is one of the best creators working in comics today. Apart from

    , he has only released one other major work of fiction. (His third,

    , will be released this Fall.)

    There are any number of reasons that Thompson's work should be lauded. His art is gorgeous and his brushline expressive. He treats personal topics with a sense of both whimsy and honesty. He writes true experiences, even when they're fictional. And as great as all those things are, there is one idea that stands out in his work that I've yet to see another creator tackle (let alone master) as Thompson has done.

    His sense of the sacred and his ability to convey it in ink is breathtaking. He offers his readers these holy moments, these frozen, fluid, organic treasures. These sacramentals. Whether he intends to lead the reader into a religious experience or not, his work really is very spiritual. As spiritual as an atheistic holy experience can actually be at any rate. There may be moments in Miyazaki that approach the wonder of the sanctuaries that Thompson builds in

    . It's for this reason (among others) that Thompson's second book remains one of my favourites, even years after having first encountered it.

    The sweetly disturbing sentimental journey that was seeded years earlier in Thompson's

    finds pregnant fruit in his nearly-600-page opus,

    . Semi-autobiographically chronicling (via chrono-thematic structuring) his early life—from his establishment in faith and his discovery of love to his abandonment of that love and his subsequent abandonment of faith—Thompson plays honestly at all times with his story elements, thereby lending his tale an uncanny credibility. And while flashbacks and tangents proliferate, the overarching chiastic structure verifies the reader's intuition that Thompson knows well where he is headed and is going to take you there whether you like it or not.

    Thompson's illustrated avatar acts, at all times, with striking realism and the chaos of his thoughts is entirely believable—if not exactly illustrative of the average meditative development. The Thompson that frets and plays in

    —we'll call him Craig— is highly introspective and acts often in the heat of his youthful emotional turmoil, rather than from a simple, sensible motivation. And though one may often wish to chastise him for such sillinesses, his youthful passion and pendular over-reactions will more than likely endear Craig to readers as they recognize more than a little of themselves in him.

    This book is a masterpiece of form, symbol, and structure. Tokens bend and writhe and carry narrative significance throughout. Thompson's art here is fluid and is of that less-polished variety found also in

    and serves well to establish the variety of moods described in his several vignettes.

    From the perspective of one who grew up both in a faith-community that was friendlier to the arts and in a home whose high standards weren't as strictly enforced, I found his story particularly compelling and tragic. Surrounded by hypocrisy and a weak-kneed, moralistic fundamentalism, the source of his disillusionment is not difficult to see. Perhaps

    ' greatest quality is the empathy it exerts from the reader. I pitied and cared for Craig. I felt the same for his brother, his parents. I mourned for Raina, Craig's love interest in the book. I grew despondent for her family. More than anything, I wanted to hug each of these characters and make it all right and sensible again.

    And the whole while, my anger kindled toward an institutionalization of faith whose expression was not compassion, not mercy, not love. That Craig lived in a locale whose cutural acumen was bent toward a fear and persecution of that which skewed from the status quo is a horror that can be understood (while still remaining a horror). That his subculture should behave identically, built on a foundation of fear when it ought to be built on joy, peace, and love is terrifying. Thompson's work engaged in me a fury for a people and place with which I have no experience. They may not even exist as he portrayed them, but at the least, it is a challenge for me to not hate these characters who actively tear down Craig's life even from a young age. And as someone who actively tries not to hate anyone, consider this a testament to the veracity with which Thompson draws out Craig's life and circumstance.

    is an evocative work that should not be missed by any who would appreciate a serious, heartfelt, and magical telling of the tragedy and wonder of what it means to come of age.

    [review courtesy of

    ]

  • Rauf

    Here are seven lines from

    that pretty much sums up the story:

    1. I couldn't fathom that the soul trapped in my child body would be transplanted to its grotesque adolescent counterpart.

    2. But in that little pathetic clump of blankets there was comfort.

    3. We both knew that nothing existed for us outside of the moment.

    4. Maybe I'm sad about wanting you. I'm not too comfortable with wanting someone.

    5. Shame is always easier to handle if you have someone to share it with.

    6. How satisfying it

    Here are seven lines from

    that pretty much sums up the story:

    1. I couldn't fathom that the soul trapped in my child body would be transplanted to its grotesque adolescent counterpart.

    2. But in that little pathetic clump of blankets there was comfort.

    3. We both knew that nothing existed for us outside of the moment.

    4. Maybe I'm sad about wanting you. I'm not too comfortable with wanting someone.

    5. Shame is always easier to handle if you have someone to share it with.

    6. How satisfying it is to leave a mark on a blank surface. To make a map of my movement--no matter how temporary.

    7. Even a mistake is better than nothing.

  • David Schaafsma

    Every year I teach this book in my YA course it comes up as one of the top three favorite texts in the course. I might go so far as to say it is one of the top five or ten graphic novels of all time. Powerful, gorgeous, touching, expressive, it’s among other things a meditation on first or young love, with sweeping and /or anguished art accomplished in the romantic tradition, with all the emotional highs and lows of young love. Thompson’s story might be described as autobiographical fiction; set

    Every year I teach this book in my YA course it comes up as one of the top three favorite texts in the course. I might go so far as to say it is one of the top five or ten graphic novels of all time. Powerful, gorgeous, touching, expressive, it’s among other things a meditation on first or young love, with sweeping and /or anguished art accomplished in the romantic tradition, with all the emotional highs and lows of young love. Thompson’s story might be described as autobiographical fiction; set in Wisconsin, where he grew up with his controlling parents and his brother Phil, art and fantasy (he calls it dreaming) are his escapes.

    Craig can’t choose what he reads or sees on television. His father is a tyrant. His primary escapes are his drawing, nature, and play/fantasy with his brother. He for a time turns to his parents’ religion as a kind of escape from the world, with that promise of Heaven, and considers the encouragement from his pastor that he, a thoughtful, earnest boy, follow the ministerial calling. But it's a promise also filled with dark threats of Hell; at one point, led by a suggestion from his teachers that art is selfish, un-Christian, the darkly intense Craig burns all of his artwork.

    16, at a Bible summer camp, Craig meets and falls in love with Raina, a kind of ethereal beauty whom he fancies is like him, a loner, into nature, increasingly less into organized religion. And he’s physically attracted to her, which is something he struggles with against the backdrop of a religion that forbids this very attraction as the sin of lust. After camp they exchange letters and he visits her upper Michigan home for almost a week. She makes a quilt--a blanket--for him, that becomes an emblem of their relationship; in return he paints a tree on her wall with the two of them in it. They sleep together, they are in love.

    I have now read Blankets a few times. In the last reading and review I had developed the idea—I am sure informed by others reading with me—that the girl, Raina, is never quite real for Craig, almost completely idealized, a creation by him of what it is he needs to escape from his oppressive circumstances, his conservative family, his being bullied at school. Throughout the book we increasingly see Raina with a halo, angelic, and I thought: This is an indication of his unrealistic view of her. While I think this escape theory is true in some sense, I have come back around to Seth Hahne’s view of the book, that Craig’s view of Raina—her individualism, her body/sexuality, her responsibility for her two special needs brothers and sisters--is part of the construction of his view of her as sacred. Craig really does love Raina, and she is part of his constructing a more positive, human, embodied spirituality. He still believes in God, he still knows the Bible, but he reads the sacred in the world increasingly as different than the fundamentalist upbringing he was limited to. His is a personal spirituality, not group-think religion. The sacred he sees in the world comes to re-include his art as meaning-making; thus the book. Art, like spirituality, emerges out of patterns, a patchwork quilt of personal characteristics and commitments.

    The artwork in Blankets is also a patchwork quilt of gorgeous, sweeping, romantic images of the natural world (snow, trees, weather), likening it to patterns in Raina’s dress and hair, open and free and spacious and lovely in contrast to the darker, more sinister patches of his oppressive house and Sunday school. There’s also an emblem or mark that weaves its way through the book, present whenever Craig recognizes something as sacred. At one point that essentially Calvinist-raised Craig even forgives himself enough for his transgressions to even share a halo with Raina.

    When they part, however, as most 16 year-old romances do, Craig is still darkly intense in, as with his art, earlier, burning all the artifacts and letters Raina as shared with him. He imagines erasing, white-washing, the very painting he has made for Raina. All memories gone, is his goal. Except the blanket, thank goodness, which becomes the basis for the book, and his embrace of the patchwork quilt of storytelling.

    Blankets is a gorgeously expressive, exquisitely drawn book about first love, religion, family, art, nature, memory, blankets. It’s a dark book filled with angst and fears, and also a gorgeous, swirling romantic sweep of a book. He is one anguished dude, this young Craig, so complicated and messed up by religion and family, and yet he dedicates it to his family, with love, and also makes it clear that the sacred is important for him and others. A must read, and a beautiful work of art.

    Craig Thompson interview:

  • Whitney Atkinson

    I just read this in one sitting. Incredible. First graphic novel i've given 5 full stars to.

  • Algernon (Darth Anyan)

    A quilt made of memories, bad and good, side by side sketches about growing up in a small town in Wisconsin; about sharing a room with a younger brother; about surviving school days with merciless bullying; about finding solace in religion; about a boy who meets a girl; about disfunctional families and people with disabilities; about being an artist and about the power of imagination, about the purity of first love reflected in the purity of snow; about losing your religion and

    A quilt made of memories, bad and good, side by side sketches about growing up in a small town in Wisconsin; about sharing a room with a younger brother; about surviving school days with merciless bullying; about finding solace in religion; about a boy who meets a girl; about disfunctional families and people with disabilities; about being an artist and about the power of imagination, about the purity of first love reflected in the purity of snow; about losing your religion and losing your inocence ... about beauty and sadness and time turning the pure white snow into a sea of dirty slush; and about the precious few things you can salvage, like a quilt of many shapes and colours

    I am such a big fan of Craig Thompson's second graphic novel ("Habibi") that I was actually afraid to start on his first one, lest I be disappointed. I should have had more faith in the artist and in his talent to capture emotions and existential angst in his images and in his confessional words, because this debut is just as good. The artwork may seem naive and unsophisticated at first glance, especially if it is compared with the carefully rendered arabesques of his Arabian Tales in Habibi, but I believe this style suits the story in Blankets better : it reflects on the beginnings of the artist, with the first childhood primitive drawings and the later jagged edges and raw passion of adolescence. Same goes for the decision to use black and white panels - with the white empty spaces of snow and the dark corners of trauma. The only time Thompson is really careful with his artwork is in the portrayal of his muse Raina, always beautiful and dreamy like an angel fallen among mortals. I could detect some homage paid to Bill Waterson and some echoes of Henry Rousseau, but Craig Thompson is an authentic and powerful voice in the adult comic market, well worth a try for anybody who still belives that comics are all about superheroes in spandex.

    "Blankets is my first graphic novel of 2016, and I feel I am on the right path. I hope the next albums I try will be equal to the high expectations set by Craig Thompson. And I hope he will write more of these wonderful tales.

  • Paul Bryant

    Nothing like reading a 580 page book in two and a bit hours to make you think you’ve had a productive day. It probably took Craig Thompson 10 years of hard graft, and after two hours I just snap my fingers & say yeah, loved that – next!

    Wow, I wish I could steam through non-graphic novels at the same speed – imagine scything through The Brothers Caramel or Moby Duck or Remembrance of Things Past, cutting through swathes of these vast 19th century hulks like a hijacked speedboat through a pub

    Nothing like reading a 580 page book in two and a bit hours to make you think you’ve had a productive day. It probably took Craig Thompson 10 years of hard graft, and after two hours I just snap my fingers & say yeah, loved that – next!

    Wow, I wish I could steam through non-graphic novels at the same speed – imagine scything through The Brothers Caramel or Moby Duck or Remembrance of Things Past, cutting through swathes of these vast 19th century hulks like a hijacked speedboat through a public swimming area, like a dentist’s drill through a dentist.

    I approached Blankets with caution – it looked like a soppy romance and that’s not my cup of chicken liver pate. And it was too – lurve at its ultrateen slurpiest. Sample dialogue:

    Her : What a WONDERFUL tree you’ve painted.

    Him : This is US in the branches.

    Her : Even though it’s cold outside, it’s warm in this tree.

    Or if that seems reasonable

    Him : I love you, Raina…

    Her: OH CRAIG…

    So imagine my surprise when I found myself being hurled along these swirling rapids of youthful open heart surgery like a stick in a game of uncomfortably prurient Poohsticks. I believed in Craig and Raina and their awkward families. I believed in the immediate passion and the swift fizzle. And I liked all the Christian stuff – the charm of the quaint idea of a teenage boy in the 1990s telling himself that even kissing a girl is probably wrong.

    Craig gets very detailed about some things, but remains aggravatingly vague about other things that you really wanna know about. Like the weird thing with the babysitter.

    Not too sure.

    And the ending was rushed as if someone had said Craig, you have to stop now- NOW! STOP!

    Aside from that, pretty great.

    Not recommended for those suffering from type 2 diabetes.

  • Oriana

    book #12 for Jugs & Capes!

    review #8 for

    !

    I joke about this a lot, but it’s true that in some ways, in the squishiest little corner of my mushy little heart, I am still a teenage girl. My favorite TV show, ever and still, is

    . I have read Margaret Atwood’s

    probably thirty times. I still listen to Fall Out Boy, for fuck’s sake! I listen to other music too, obviously, hipster fabulous bands you’ve never heard of (I live in Brooklyn, after all), but something i

    book #12 for Jugs & Capes!

    review #8 for

    !

    I joke about this a lot, but it’s true that in some ways, in the squishiest little corner of my mushy little heart, I am still a teenage girl. My favorite TV show, ever and still, is

    . I have read Margaret Atwood’s

    probably thirty times. I still listen to Fall Out Boy, for fuck’s sake! I listen to other music too, obviously, hipster fabulous bands you’ve never heard of (I live in Brooklyn, after all), but something in Fall Out Boy’s plaintive intensity just

    in me, just carves straight into my fluttering core and makes me reel—and plus OMGWTF Pete Wentz is

    , right?

    Um, what I’m saying is that I am a complete sucker for the angst, the power, and the pain of all the firsts of teenagerdom, when everything is the most important goddamn thing ever, the most intense, the most devastating, the most harrowing, the most blissful. So there was every reason to think I was going to fall hard for

    .

    Except I didn’t.

    You probably know the story by now, since this book made Craig pretty damn famous, winning all kinds of Eisner and Harvey awards and making bestseller lists everywhere. But in case you don’t, here it is: Boy meets girl at church camp and falls in love. They spend two heavenly (but mostly PG-rated) weeks together at her parents’ house, escaping their messed-up families and teenage traumas and scholastic hurdles by building a little world into which they can both sink, together, forever (forever for two weeks, I mean, so

    in teenagerland). That’s not the whole story, of course, but that two-week-long date takes up a full 400 pages of a book that doesn’t quite make it to 600, so it’s fair to say that’s most of it.

    Well, so why wasn’t I sucked right in? Why wasn’t this just exactly the kind of lush melodrama I love to revel in? I guess because it really wasn’t that

    . Craig Thomas’s language of love, as it were, is really pretty hokey, pretty cliché. The illustrations are often beautiful and complex, but the story itself just doesn’t measure up. Raina asks Craig to paint something on her wall. She teaches him how to do a butterfly kiss, and he teaches her an Eskimo kiss. They make snow angels. They take long meandering walks or long meandering drives and have long meandering conversations about love and their childhoods and their families and God. There’s just no urgency, no frenzy, none of that sense of

    .

    And then there’s God. That’s the other main thing about this book; religion is nearly as main a character as Craig and Raina. I’ve come out as an atheist before, and I acknowledged back in my

    review that, growing up a pretty casual Jew, I missed out on all the Christian guilt and anxiety that was such a strong part of the background of that book, and I had the same trouble with this one. Craig is just in

    about his religious future, especially with the creeping carnal desires he has for Raina. And Jesus looms large—literally—in every aspect of the story. He’s looking down at Craig from the wall of almost every room, and even when there’s no physical manifestation, Craig is reading (or thinking about having read) Bible passages and anecdotes. I can see how this could be very affecting and evocative for someone who grew up in this tradition, or who has a strong faith, but it just doesn’t stir anything in me, and I find it very hard to relate, or sometimes even take seriously.

    The best parts of

    , in my opinion, actually center around Craig’s and Raina’s interactions with their respective siblings. There is so much more raw energy and passion and pain in those relationships than there is in the central one. Perhaps that’s because the romance itself is so fleeting, and family—at least for these characters—sticks around. Craig and his brother were incredibly close as children, which Craig relates to Raina in a series of very poignant flashbacks, but lately they’ve drifted apart. And during his stay with her, Craig watches Raina interacting with her own family—parents in the midst of divorce, two mentally disabled younger sibs, and a cold, distant, materialistic older sister—and though he doesn’t comment on it too much, the first thing he does when he gets home again is begin a slow process of reconnecting with his own brother. That, to me, was so much more beautiful and meaningful than watching the two teens clasp hands breathe each other’s air and moon at one another. It redeemed the book for me to a good degree.

    One of the ladies in my Jugs & Capes group felt that the main problem was that Craig, who is about thirty-five, is just too young and inexperienced and self-absorbed to be writing a memoir. And maybe that’s true, maybe at thirty-five there really isn’t much more than that one intense romance, the enduring heartache of not having been a good enough big brother, the struggle with one’s faith. But much better books were built on much less, so I don’t think I can let it off the hook that easily. It’s not a

    book, certainly, and I’d definitely read more of Craig’s stuff later, but this one just didn’t dazzle me like I’d hoped it would.

    See what I mean? No contest.

  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at:

    Contrary jerkoff party of 1? I’m here I’m here! While a 3 Star rating is most definitely a perfectly

    rating – in this case I am one of a handful amongst my friends who dared to not give 4 or 5. Allow me a moment to ‘splain myself. If I were judging solely on the artwork I would break the GR rating system and allot

    10. I mean seriously it begins right at the cover . . .

    Très belle! And for those of you who have developed

    Find all of my reviews at:

    Contrary jerkoff party of 1? I’m here I’m here! While a 3 Star rating is most definitely a perfectly

    rating – in this case I am one of a handful amongst my friends who dared to not give 4 or 5. Allow me a moment to ‘splain myself. If I were judging solely on the artwork I would break the GR rating system and allot

    10. I mean seriously it begins right at the cover . . .

    Très belle! And for those of you who have developed a love for the grown-up coloring book? You could defile the crap out of Mr. Thompson’s creation : )

    The reason my rating is low is because I just didn’t get it. I mean, I got it. Farts. This isn’t going well. Okay, so

    was not difficult to understand. It was a coming-of-age story about a boy and went from his early childhood and superbadawful things (*sad face*) to his über religious adolescence and eventually finding a bit of who he wanted to be in early adulthood. The part I don’t get is why an autobiography? Maybe it’s just because I had never heard of Craig Thompson before (be gentle, I’m still a graphic novel noob), but this might have worked better for me if it was about a fictional character. I don't get the trend of

    thinking their life story is something worth writing about and while Thompson did have a superbad happen, it was barely a blip on the over 600 pages contained in this book.

    there just wasn’t a whole lot of story (aside from an excuse to show readers more beautiful art) for it to be so voluminous.

    Anyway, obviously it’s just me and I read this wrong. Go read

    review instead. She’s good at words – even when those words are about a “pitcherbook” ; )

    As for me? I’ll be trying to track down a copy of

    because . . . .

    Wow. This dude is seriously goooooooood at the black and white.

  • Maciek

    I first read about

    in an article on the history of graphic novels, where it was mentioned as one of the signature examples of the form - along famous works such as Art Spiegelman's

    (Interestingly, Spiegelman liked the book, and sent the author a congratulatory letter after publication).

    was offered as an example of a serious and important work, which helped define the term and give it meaning and significance - by telling a mature and largely autobiographical story it help

    I first read about

    in an article on the history of graphic novels, where it was mentioned as one of the signature examples of the form - along famous works such as Art Spiegelman's

    (Interestingly, Spiegelman liked the book, and sent the author a congratulatory letter after publication).

    was offered as an example of a serious and important work, which helped define the term and give it meaning and significance - by telling a mature and largely autobiographical story it helped distance the graphic novel from a stereotype of a comic book for children. I've never read anything by Craig Thomson before, so when the opportunity presented itself I chose to take it and dove right in.

    I started reading

    in the evening of one day, and finished in the morning of the next one, taking a break only because I had to go to sleep. Because of the nature of its form, this 600 page book can finished in one sitting - inspired by the title; in a favorite, comfortable chair, with a big cup of warm tea or cocoa nearby, allowing the book to wrap itself around you like a warm blanket.

    As mentioned, Thomson's work is almost 600 pages long ,but never feels like it because of the fluidity of his storytelling and his skills as an artist. Never does

    feel slow or uninspired; never does it feel boring. Thomson managed to take his own growing up in small town, rural Wisconsin in a conservative, evangelical Christian family and make it interesting to the reader - I do not know where the book exceeds the limits of autobiography (or if it does it at all), but I was engaged all the way throughout it and was simply interested in learning what will happen next.

    chronicles the childhood and adolescence of the author/protagonist Craig, and all the struggles that come with it: having to share a room with his younger brother, his devotion and struggle to live according to Biblical principles in a complicated word, and eventually his first love, Raina. This is a very sentimental story of personal origins, to which many of us will be able to relate in one way or another - who has never experienced confusion in a complicated world, or fallen intensely in love at a young age? The author captures these feelings very well, even though he undoubtedly looks at parts of his own youth with rose-tinted glasses and romanticizes the heck out of it - some of the situations and conversations that his protagonist have are just way too convenient and dramatic. Still, it

    a very engaging and genuinely heartwarming story where we like the protagonists and want the best for them.

    However, this is not a perfect book; unfortunately it has flaws, and even major ones. While it is very well written and drawn, it is not as perfect as the enthusiastic reviews made it out to be; some of its flaws are just too major and obvious to ignore. Thomson published

    when he was just 28 years old; it can be argued that at this age an author simply does not have a reason to publish a

    , unless his experience was truly unique and memoir-worthy, and a book can help analyze it in depth and provide readers with valuable lessons and insights. The problem with

    lies in the fact that it does not do that - the religious aspect of the book is very skin-deep; late in the book Craig has to confront his religious beliefs as a new adult, and the matter is simply left unresolved; the entire struggle that he has experienced throughout the book is left alone and abandoned. In fact, this is my entire problem with the book - as much as I enjoyed it, it does not say anything

    or particularly insightful; stripped of its beautiful illustrations, its content simply would not hold up to close scrutiny. This sudden ending to Craig's story was so unexpected, it literally shocked me - I wanted to know more about him as a person, and at the end I was left with the impression that I hardly knew him at all - that throughout these 600 pages I did not get to really know him or see him develop, and as much as I enjoyed his story I felt no sadness that he was gone and that it ended.

    I would still recommend reading the book as it contains genuinely touching moments - mostly in the background, such as Craig's relationship with his brother and Raina's disabled siblings, which for me really shone in the book - though sadly it is not the masterpiece that it was hailed as, and I very much wished that I had been.

  • Jace

    Having produced this illustrated autobiography of his formative years, Thompson certainly deserves credit for an ambitious undertaking. His illustrations are the shining accomplishment of this book; cartoony, yet humanly realistic, they exude a youthful enthusiasm. Definitely a memorable drawing style, it almost makes Blankets worth a read in-and-of-itself.

    Though well intentioned, I felt that the "plot" of Blankets fell short of what it promised. The bulk of the story revolves around the author

    Having produced this illustrated autobiography of his formative years, Thompson certainly deserves credit for an ambitious undertaking. His illustrations are the shining accomplishment of this book; cartoony, yet humanly realistic, they exude a youthful enthusiasm. Definitely a memorable drawing style, it almost makes Blankets worth a read in-and-of-itself.

    Though well intentioned, I felt that the "plot" of Blankets fell short of what it promised. The bulk of the story revolves around the author's hokey two-week-long love affair with a girl he met at church camp. Though his first encounter with love may have been earth-shaking for the author, he fails to convey this. It reads more like 400 [illustrated] pages of masturbatory teen-angst. At times I had to check the title page to make sure I wasn't accidentally reading

    . To make matters even more cliche, he has one character invoke the lines from The Cure's "Just Like Heaven". Yes, it's a great song, but it feeds right into the sappiness I felt mired in for most of the story. I also felt assaulted by the religious overtones in the book. For 500-some pages of his childhood, Thompson is a Jesus-freak, but in the last 5 pages we learn that by his early twenties he has abandoned Christianity. It would have been nice if the author would have shared more of his transformation with the reader. I'm sure it was a momentous change for the author, but the lack of explanation makes it seem almost arbitrary.

    Blankets has a few redeeming qualities, such as Thompson's flashbacks to his childhood in the room he shared with his little brother. They build forts, sail pirate ships, explore haunted caves, etc. These scenes really showcase his humor, creativity, and flair for storytelling. Though light and emotionally unburdoned, they conveyed more personality than the love story he focused on for most of the book. Additionally, the author introduces a few "darker" moments, such as a babysitter who sexually abused him and his brother. It's a testament to the uncensored honesty in his storytelling.

    Overall, it was a quick read and worth the time. It was nice change of pace from sci-fi and superhero graphic novels. But pick it up from the local library or borrow it from a friend. I wouldn't advise anyone to spend $29.95 for this bible-sized comic book.

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