Here are seven lines from Blankets 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. I just read this in one sitting Incredible First graphic novel i ve given 5 full stars to. 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 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, 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 Rating 3.5 5 stars NON RIUSCIVO A CAPIRE come l anima racchiusa nel mio corpo da bambino potesse essere trapiantata nella sua grottesca controparte adolescenteRaccontare il crescere, da bambino diventare adolescente, raccontare il diventare.E raccontare il silenzio.Silenzio pieno di pensieri, ma forse anche pi di emozioni.Che diventano mie, che sono mie, le mie che avevo a quell epoca della vita, che in verit uno stato dell essere Bello Molto bello Molto molto.Tenero, struggente, divertente, romantico, profondo, acuto, geniale L educazione sentimentale di Craig andrebbe letta pi volte a et diverse, dovrebbe accompagnarci nel cammino Un grande Bildungsroman per tutte le et Grazie Mr Thompson. 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 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 Dawson s Creek The Graphic Novel To make matters even 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 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 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. Find all of my reviews at jerkoff party of 1 I m here I m here While a 3 Star rating is most definitely a perfectly fine 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 Blankets 10 I mean seriously it begins right at the cover Tr s 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 Blankets 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 ber 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 everyone 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 FOR ME there just wasn t a whole lot of story aside from an excuse to show readers beautiful art for it to be so voluminous Anyway, obviously it s just me and I read this wrong Go read Carmen s 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 Habibi because Wow This dude is seriously goooooooood at the black and white. 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 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 reasonableHim 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 What was the babysitter doing with Craig his little brotherNot 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. It s beautiful 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 coloursI 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 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 of these wonderful tales.