March 5, 2013


i don't know why it took me so long to read this one. i have a lot of friends who read graphic novels and have seen this one laying around their houses/apartments for years. historically, comics/graphic novels have not been my thing, so i guess i just needed a nudge to try one out. our roommate last summer is a big fan of both, and while she was living with us i was able to peek at her library choices. which means, yes, this has been on my list to read since last summer and am only now getting to it. sigh.
i really didn't know anything about Blankets, so i was surprised to discover that it's a fairly autobiographical coming of age story set in 1990's evangelical Christian culture in rural Wisconsin. there was so much that was familiar- church camp-y type trips, suspicion of the arts, long winters with never ending blankets of snow, grunge fashion, Kurt Cobain posters on the wall, etc etc. the story is a really intimate, vulnerable portrayal of Thompson's adolescence and crisis of faith, with back story of his relationship with his younger brother Phil. he tries to reconcile his faith with his love of drawing and his new found infatuation with Raina, a girl he meets at church camp. it sounds pretty standard, but it's such a delicate, beautiful story, with the theme of blankets woven throughout all the scenes and stages of Thompson's life. i was surprised by the depth and layers of the story, and his illustrations are so smart and beautiful too. no wonder everyone loves this book. it's 600 pages but i read it in 2 sittings, and i am certain i will read it again.

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