Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Comics You (Really) Should Read [Conclusion]

The final comic/graphic novel that you (really) should read is Blankets, written and illustrated by Craig Thompson. Blankets is a memoir, and as such it tells the story of the authors early childhood, growing up in a Christian home and coming to terms with himself, God, and his first love. I read this novel a few months ago, but I still remember a lot of the story contained therein. In fact, Time magazine has listed Blankets as one of the ten greatest graphic novels of all time.

Part of the reason I liked this book so much is the fact that it is real. It's raw. It's something that I easily related to. Thompson has a brother close in age, I have a brother close in age. Thompson grew up in a Christian home, I grew up in a Christian home. Thompson wasn't the cool kid at school, neither was I. We've done things differently in our lives, and I would not have done the same things he did, but I easily related to the story.

The art was also simple. Beautiful. Real. There were no spandex super heroes or any mystical gods, just simple, normal folks. And that was refreshing. To read something so personal, something by someone with questions and without definite answers. It was a great trip, journeying with Thompson and his life.

I typically am a fiction reader, but this was different. I don't think I would have enjoyed the story had it been a novel, but as an illustrated novel (i.e. graphic novel) the pages were richer and more enlightening. I highly recommend Blankets to you. Yes, you. Why you, you may think? Because I know you have questions about life, you have thoughts about things that Thompson has, and you've never read anything like it. You may have some of the same fears Thompson has. You may have a similar first love experience. Whatever the case, this graphic novel is wonderful.


There you have it, three comics that you (really) should read. You can find Sandman in TPB form, or in the Absolute forms, but these are very expensive. My library had them, actually. Fables is also out in TPB, but there is also the monthly edition published. Blankets will be available at your nearest Borders, Barnes & Noble, or wherever you usually buy your books. If you typically do not read comics, but think that they are something you would enjoy, I easily recommend starting with these. These three represent some of the best out there, but there are plenty more.

Perhaps in the future I'll post more on some of my favorite comic classics, like Batman or Spiderman, but for now this is concluded. Enjoy these recommendations if you decide to read them.


marky said...

Blankets sounds very intriguing. I'll definitely get round to reading it, and the rest of your recommendations. Today I got A Game Of Thrones from Amazon, as per your instructions, and I'm really looking forward to reading it. As soon as I finish American Gods, I'm on it like a midgie on a camper!

logankstewart said...

Holy Cow, Marky. I'm currently reading American Gods! It's been sitting on my shelf for a while, and I've finally got to it. How odd.

We're too similar, friend. Both were playing Fallout 3 (which won Game of the Year, by the way) simultaneously, as well as both reading the same book.

You won't regret A Game of Thrones. I got hooked on the Song of Ice and Fire very quickly, so you might be reading all of them come soon.

Shellie (Layers of Thought) said...

Hey Logan -
Very nice review. I finally got around to reading it here after your link on the graphic novel challenge post.

I am loving The Ladies of Grace Adieu as well. Have a safe trip.

logankstewart said...

Glad you liked it, Shellie. I'm almost finished with the Susanna Clarke book.

Shellie (Layers of Thought) said...

I read one of the stories - the Mary Queen of Scotts one... it was great.

I think I may even make a fan out of John since he enjoyed it as well, since I persuaded him to read it. He is not a fantasy reader as a rule.