Blankets by Craig Thompson

August 30, 2016
Blankets, Craig Thompson, Book Review, InToriLex
Published By: Top Shelf Productions on August 18, 2003
Format Read:  Hardcover Edition (592 Pages)
Genre: Graphic Novel/ Coming of Age/ Contemporary
Series: Standalone
Source: Purchased
Wrapped in the landscape of a blustery Wisconsin winter, Blankets explores the sibling rivalry of two brothers growing up in the isolated country, and the budding romance of two coming-of-age lovers. A tale of security and discovery, of playfulness and tragedy, of a fall from grace and the origins of faith.


I was excited to be blown away by this because of all of the booktuber's who have recommended this. This was a sweet story about coming of age. first love and grappling with Christian beliefs. However I was underwhelmed and wanted more to be explained.  Craig explores the pivotal experiences and memories that have shaped his life. I was happy to learn more about him, but the emotional turmoil and angst of adolescence was not well communicated through his story. Much of the book focuses on Raina and Craig's romance that they were able to explore for two weeks when he comes to visit.
Raina was a very complex character, who had a lot of responsibilities and hardship to deal with. We were briefly allowed into her family life when Craig goes to visit. Raina has to care for her two special needs siblings, her infant niece and mediate between her divorcing parents.  But the story really doesn't address hard issues in more then a passing way. There are fascinating panels featuring verses of the bible intertwined with Craig's pondering about life. But Craig never addresses how he  feels about things happening. He may describe an emotion but he never explores the "so what"? He leaves the reader to fill in a lot of the blanks, and so I struggled to engage.

The artwork was done well and imaginatively. But this memoir falls short because there's no real reflection on what Craig has learned. There were heart felt moments, and thought provoking messages, but nothing that  stuck with me. I would recommend this for fans of non-fiction graphic novels, who enjoy good artwork. Many other readers have absolutely loved this, so it's worth a shot, but this didn't work for me.


Craig Ringwalt Thompson (b. September 21, 1975 in Traverse City, Michigan) is a graphic novelist best known for his 2003 work Blankets. Thompson has received four Harvey Awards, two Eisner Awards, and two Ignatz Awards. In 2007, his cover design for the Menomena album Friend and Foe received a Grammy nomination for Best Recording Package.

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