Thursday, April 3, 2008

craig thompson

A short post, because the grading is heavy now and I can't quite justify the procrastination.

I've added a new URL to our "Links" side-bar, that will take you to Craig Thompson's fantastic blog. I've been meaning to write an entry on his debut graphic novel Goodbye Chunky Rice, which ranks up there among my favorite literary/graphic experiences. Thompson is about my age, which I think helps me identify with his stories, even though he was raised in a fundamentalist Christian family and has lived an artist's life (in striking contrast to a scientist's life). His blog is loaded with sketches, ideas, letters, drafts, and I find it pretty exhilarating to have this window into the artistic process of someone who's work I greatly admire.

Here's a sketch from Goodbye Chunk Rice, and its ultimate transformation.

Here's the cover design for the Chinese edition of Blankets, his 2nd graphic novel. It thrills me that Chinese adolescents & young adults will get a window into American life by reading Blankets. It is cultural exchange like this that can, eventually, lead to some kind of peaceful world community, based on the fundamental recognition that we're all fucking human.

And here's a page from his current project, Habibi (alongside a photo from his Portland garden). He's been working on this book for years now, which doesn't surprise me. He has claimed that it is primarily influenced by Arabic calligraphy and Islamic mythology, and hopes it will be a Muslim Blankets. Extraordinary.

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