Blankets is a graphic novel of first love, growing up, faith and the loss of it. It is nearly 600 pages of black and white graphic storytelling. The style is fairly realistic and very wonderfully drawn at times. Craig Thompson is definitely creative and a talented artist. Something about the simplicity of the drawings were evocative. The graphic novel medium is very well suited to autobiographies and memoirs such as this. It is especially apt when telling of experiences of childhood and other first or crucial memories since they are usually are so vivid and intense. Another example of where childhood inspired stories go well is American Born Chinese.
In an interview, Thompson on the success of the graphic novel: “Probably the things that I was reacting against in the comics medium. I was reacting against all of the over-the-top, explosive action genre: ”I guess alternative comics have been doing that, for a while. But I also didn’t want to do anything cynical and nihilistic, which is the standard for a lot of alternative comics.” I am going to agree about the cynicism that is found in alternative comics. I think it is also the post modernism and existentialism that runs through a lot of art in general these days. Blankets has a bit of that, but I would say it is less nihilistic than David Boring. The ending is open ended and pensive due to its biographical nature, but an excellent graphic novel overall.