Too much hype

Blankets - Craig Thompson

Raise your hand if you kept hearing about the epic graphic novel Blankets by Craig Thompson. Chances are that the majority of you have at the very least heard of this book. It's continually touted as a must-read and so I finally grabbed it anticipating something that would knock me off of my feet. What I got instead was a thoroughly uncomfortable coming of age story that I didn't find particularly compelling. The art was not at fault. There were some truly lovely illustrations and I think the choice of keeping everything fairly muted in various shades of blue, black, and white was a good one. However, I couldn't get past how uncomfortable I found the story. Blankets is the true childhood tale of the author, Craig Thompson. The way that religion and relationships were depicted was problematic at best and psychologically troubling at worst. Craig grew up in a rural town as the oldest of two sons. The story starts with the two boys sharing a bed (not by their choice) and the arguments that ensued over the less than ideal situation. From the very start, I wondered if the cathartic writing of this book was the reason that Thompson wrote this. I say this because I think perhaps the author should seek professional help. As you know, I steer clear of spoilers here but I do feel that you should be forewarned that there are copious instances of child abuse in this book. The cruelty he and his brother faced disturbed my sleep while I was reading it and there were several times that I almost quit the book entirely. However, my hope that the end would prove worthwhile kept me turning the pages (and ultimately left me disappointed). If you're feeling particularly brave (or curious), then I can only wish you the best of luck with your quest. For me, the art alone wasn't worth it in the end. 3/10