Brief Thoughts on Craig Thompson, Blankets

Title: Blankets: An Illustrated Novel
Author: Craig Thompson
Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
Date: 2003
Genre: Graphic Memoir

582 pages.
Where I got it: Public Library
Challenges: Graphic Novels 2011

Craig Thompson's Blankets is one of quite a few graphic memoirs I've read this year.  It begins with Craig's somewhat traumatic childhood, and Thompson uses the trope of blankets as a thread that transitions with him into his first love and then his adulthood.  Craig shares a bed with his younger brother growing up, and that bed is a place of wonder, and imagination, and often discomfort, that appears again and again all throughout the book.  When I think about it, I realize that a shared bed is certainly an apt symbol for a relationship, and it serves to show us some of the important relationships in this author's life.  Beds in this book are both warm and cold, shelters and battlefields.  This is a coming of age story, where Craig's first young love becomes the catalyst for his transition into adulthood.  The illustrations in the book are dreamy, and the text often reads like a diary.  While reading the book, sometimes it felt too personal, like I had no right as a reader to be experiencing so acutely what was portrayed on the pages.

Blankets is a sprawling project that sucks the reader into these moments that the author illustrates.  It isn't my favorite graphic memoir I've read this year, but I did find it often charming, and worthwhile.


  1. It's been a while since I've read this. It wasn't my favorite graphic memoir either, but you're reminding me of some of the things I liked about it...especially the artwork, which I was so in love with that sometimes it was hard to tear my eyes away to read the text. Maybe this is due for a reread soon?

    -- Ellen

  2. Ellen- There were definitely some good things, I including the illustrations. Graphic novels make such great rereads as well.


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