One of my top ten books of the year, Blankets blew me away with its powerfully raw honesty. Thompson recalls, in evocative, autobiographical comic panels and prose, what it was like to grow up in a judgmental, fundamentalist Christian home in the Midwest. As a child, Craig and his young brother survive their parents’ distant and punishing upbringing by sharing their love of drawing and creating imaginary worlds out of their shared bed and blankets. By the time he’s a teen, Craig feels like an outcast, not fitting in at school and still feeling doubt at church. Then, at a winter church camp, Craig meets Raina, a girl who is beautiful both inside and out. Together, they negotiate their first love affair, in the shadow of their moralistic families and their own ingrained Christian guilt. O gosh, is this a good book–and not just because I grew up in a judgmental, fundamentalist Christian home in the Midwest! Craig Thompson has written the book I have always wanted to write, and damn if he didn’t do it ten times better than I ever could. Not your typical superhero comic, this is a BIG graphic novel with BIG themes for BIG kids. If all you dig is Batman, wait a few years before picking up Blankets.
Blankets by Craig Thompson