Sunday, January 13, 2013

Book #4: Blankets

Title: Blankets
Author: Craig Thompson
Genre: Coming-of-Age
Pages: 582
Pages to Date: 1,674

The Good:
Blankets is a full length graphic novel centering around his first love and his transition to adulthood. Honesty is the strong backbone of the story, a very real feeling story that does not turn away from the potentially inappropriate to properly illustrate the full range of emotional trauma associated with being a teenager. Using a medium widely thought of as being for childish superhero comics, Thompson demonstrates the truth to the famed saying "a picture is worth a thousand words" by splashing emotion across the page with his artwork. Subtly is another major boon to Blankets, as his horrifying ordeal as the victim child molestation is acknowledged, but not shoved in the reader's face. The questions posed by the author about relationships, religion, and coming-of-age are all timely and relevant to any college student. Anyone who feels outside of the social norm, which I am fairly certain is everyone, should appreciate his analysis of what it means to be alone and everyone should relate to his unfortunately predictable first love experience.

The Bad:
Blankets has been banned by several schools and libraries due to its nudity. There are sexual images, so that may be uncomfortable for some. However, I would say that it's done in a way that is non-pornagraphic, instead depicting the emotional elation that goes along with a sexual connection. As for the content, some of his criticisms of organized religion are easily refuted (in my opinion), but this is his experience and therefore I cannot be too upset with him honestly depicting what deeply impacted his religious journey.

Blankets is a tremendous coming-of-age story that evokes nostalgia, regret, and hope for the future. The depth of emotion is impressive and it's clearly a book that can reverse negative notions about graphic novels. I highly recommend curling up near a space heater with hot chocolate near-by, snuggled under a blanket on a chilly afternoon with this heart-wrenching tale of broken hearts, shattered expectations, and how to carry on through those pitfalls.

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