Wednesday, February 29, 2012


There are a lot of people who love graphic novels that know that Thompson's previous work Blankets is one of the medium's best books.  I can't tell you how many people that I've loaned that book to where they've come back to me to ask, "What else is out there that's like it?" and the answer has always been, sadly, nothing... If you like the medium of graphic novels and coming of age stories, Blankets is an absolute must read.  Drop everything.  Get it now.
Habibi came out a little while ago and people were dying for it - having been a long wait since Blankets.  I kept hearing things like 'masterpiece' and so I had to go into it with a certain level of expectations. 
At it's surface the story is about two misfit orphans who rely on each other to survive in the harsh world.  It's beautiful and heartbreaking and uplifting.  All the things you want in a great story.  I think the thing that people use to upgrade it to masterpiece is that Thompson spends a fair amount of time dissecting the art of the written word - the actual word - as well as the duel tellings of stories, and how perspective can change things - even if the thing itself is the same and the result is as well.  I didn't dislike those sections but they didn't do a whole lot for me.  In lesser hands they would be pretty pretentious but Thompson has a way of weaving them in so organically that they flow with everything else.
At it's heart this is a love story.  A harsh one, but a great one.  If you liked Blankets I can't imagine that you wouldn't enjoy this as well!

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