blankets cover craig thompson
9.5 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Art: 9/10

Nice personal story of reflection


Book Info

Book Name:  Blankets

Publisher:  Top Shelf Productions

Writer:  Craig Thompson

Artist:  Craig Thompson

Release Date:  2003


Hardback Edition

Craig Thompson grows up with his brother Phil in a small Wisconsin town where he’s treated as an outcast because he’s poor, likes art, and follows the Bible. When he meets a girl named Raina on a church skiing trip, Craig’s life begins to change. He realizes that his small world can be different, and as he falls in love for the first time, the world has more potential than he ever expected.

Written and illustrated by Craig Thompson, Blankets was heralded for both its writing and illustration. The graphic novel won the Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album and Best Writer/Artist and the Harvey Award for Best Artist, Best Cartoonist, and Best Graphic Album of Original Work.

Blankets follows along the popular line of autobiographical comic books. I love a smartly written story, but the subject matter of this story (first love and religion) isn’t generally my style of comic. Despite being against my norms, Blankets is a really good, entertaining read.

I read Blankets not long after it came out and have revisited a few times. The writing and the honesty of Thompson’s writing is what really comes out of this story. He talks about really painful events in his life and often when writers do this, it feels exaggerated or too refined. Here, the story of Thompson’s first love (and loss) feels real.


Craig & Raina

If the story had spun a different direction in the end and everything had turned out perfect, I don’t think I would have liked this story. Instead, Thompson’s discovery that there is more to life than the small minded people of his little town, almost justifies the hurt he ends up receiving by discovering this. Raina and Craig might not end up together, but Craig ends up better for it all despite the pains.

Craig Thompson’s art is also a driving feature of the story. His “character” is tormented by his abilities and what it means in a sense of his religion. Like the story, the art is honest, but also mixes a few different styles since it often taps into classic art and art in which the character was drawing at the time.

Blankets is a great example of the different potentials of graphic novels. The story presented in the novel wouldn’t be half the story it is in traditional prose, and Thompson gets just the right tone out of his story. Some have considered the story a bit too edgy, and it has been challenged by a few libraries. Check out Blankets if you get the chance and enjoy a good illustrated story.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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