Published by IDW-Top Shelf on August 5, 2003
Genres: Young Adult, Graphic Novel, Religion, Romance
Pages: 592 Format: Paperback Source: Purchased
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.
Blankets is a long form graphic novel written and illustrated by Craig Thompson. This autobiographical tale follows Craig through his childhood to adulthood exploring his relationship with his younger brother, his first love, and the conflicts that arise within his Christian faith as he grows up. Thompson opens up his life to the reader and does it with such candor and bravery.
The illustrations in this novel alone would make it worth the read but the content of this story really hit home for me. It isn’t often that a novel explores wrestling with the Christian faith so openly and Blankets was handled so well. Looking at someone come to terms with how sexuality fits within religion but also how each person’s faith differs along the way were the most intriguing parts of this book. How does one reconcile themselves with Christianity today?
Thompson’s stylistic and format choices also make this a standout comic. The use of snow in this story is an effective metaphor for the pure Christian ideal and how it so easily can be marred by supposed sin. It is visually stunning and paints a pretty clear picture of how religion looks at the world. The use of flashbacks throughout the story connect his young adult life with his childhood and shows the struggle to connect with others. It makes a strong impact to see how someone’s environment can shape the rest of their lives.
Overall I really enjoyed Craig Thompson’s Blankets. It was a really interesting look at how religion affects our lives and how we question that foundation. This wasn’t my typical comic or graphic novel read but I definitely could relate to the storyline and the art was fantastic. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves graphic novels or is interested in this content. I’m so glad I finally got around to reading this!
Have you read Blankets by Craig Thompson? Do you think it was difficult for him to write so openly about personal issues? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!