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Blankets by Craig Thompson

Absolutely awesome. It doesn't hit you at first. You flip through it, and, sure, it's got some nifty layouts, but the inking doesn't draw you in. No, it's the writing that does it. This is why it's nowhere near as pretentious as you might think for the book to be subtitled 'an illustrated novel by CRAIG THOMPSON'. But here's the thing, just as Will Eisner envisioned for the genre, Craig is able to make you read the art just as much as his writing. Blankets is replete with visual metaphor, literal flights of fancy, and real, honest feeling. Even the linework and lettering fit beautifully and (more suprisingly) explicitly into the way you read things. Brilliant.

Someday, maybe you'll walk into your local comic shop, or some big Barnes and Noble, whatever; you'll see Blankets chilling there, waiting for you to pick it up. The natural response will be to flip through and remark, disinterestedly, "Cool," before you walk on to something new. But you don't want to do that. You want to stop, linger for a while on whatever page you happened to open up to. Just start reading. See if it doesn't pull you along. Blankets wants you to keep reading as much as you want to keep reading it.

Here's a suggestion. If you take it home with you, try letting Brian Eno's Another Green World accompany you in exploring Craig Thompson's youthful memories. Just give it a go.

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