Blankets by Craig Thompson
When I will look back on this novel months or years later, I will surely wonder hey why didn’t this get 5 stars, so I think it’s important that I write about it here.
Look, we know. Blankets is one of the most profound graphic novels in tha market. It’s one of the hallmarks of great writing and a real showcase of the beauty of the graphic novel. It’s a lot of hype. Also deserved hype but I’m here with 4 stars instead of 5 so that’s that.
I don’t want to straight up bash a book I really enjoyed otherwise so.
The metaphors man. Yeesh. Blankets is very dream like, very profound and implicative, a lot of action happens silently and most of it is expanded upon by these rich vast Christian whatever they do references. The art just bursts in the metaphors and jeez the whole tapestry and like the details, it’s all just wow WOW.
I don’t know why but the most lingering image I have of this book is that of a car driving off a cliff. It signifies the end of the dreamy romance and the jolt back to reality so yeah I guess that’s cool. But I don’t want to sound like a fuckin nerd here it’s so implicative of so many things here, the divorce, the abuse everything it’s quite beautiful like that.
Also the writing is very crisp very beautiful flowy and a lot is left unsaid and implied through just pages of wordless illustrations which is my fuckin meth guys XD
I also really liked how I just assumed from the early showcase of the stern parents and the sibling abuse, he’ll have a lot of guilt and something terrible has happened from it but it was just showing you how those little things have such a big impact especially on those little minds which I loved. i also loved the subplot of the dad’s divorce, that shot of him sitting in his car and deciding not to confront the mom was heartbreaking and so realistic. Also the whole empathy across the board everywhere from the down syndrome kids to homosexuality very nice.
so why 4.
I don’t relate at all to this. I thought about this a lot. When you’re reading a detective novel, you’re not meant to relate to the drunk detective or the psychopath on the other side so why consider that here? Well I mean the pursuit of truth and justice is a natural instinct in all of us and we all at least stick around to see that to the end. Blankets, how can I say this, well I am a hard atheist. I despise notions of God or spirituality. So for me to read a book where a man ponders over the writings of Christ and tries to find the inner meaning through all the bullshit added on through the years, it’s not particularly personally enjoyable. I don’t think anyone so divine ever existed, I don’t care. But all of this is beautifully written and I can appreciate someone with more faith loving this.
The main plot here therefore drastically shifts to the first sweet romance, the childhood abuse and the divorce of the girlfriend’s father. To me the atheist reading this, I am always scoffing at the heavy handed jesus metaphors. They’re beautiful, lend so much meaning to the book, but I can’t help my scientific senses kick in. I see this as a man escaping a cult, and so a lot of the sweetness, the gentle caress of faith is lost on me. When he debates temptation and lust, it’s expressed beautifully, but I don’t think either of them as too high a sin as he does. This ends up feeling like horror to me, because I find religion scary because it transforms people into groups of flesh, unthinking, apathetic. So yeah, my absolute phobia of religion and what it does to people prevents me from enjoying this book as compared to anyone else.
It’s a good book, it really is beautiful, the wrestling with faith, the romance, the sweet silent beauty of an artist growing into himself. But it is tinged heavily with religion and I’m sorry but I can never relate to people spending 20 years in a cult. I tried, the experience was valuable but I would have gotten out sooner, I would have questioned earlier and all of it thus seems so implausible, so scary because of the sheer lack of scientific questioning all around till at the very end.
Maybe it’s meant to be like that. Well then I just have to say that the tonal shift if intended as such is too bizarre and incomprehensible, for what is otherwise always soft and caressing.