Only a few months into my exploration of graphic novels and I have now found a second graphic novelist I have high regards for (the first being Adrian Tomine). Craig Thompson has created a beautiful work here that truly shows how graphics can transform a story. You see, a quick glance at a summary of this book reveals how shallow the plot is. Likewise, a quick flip-through of the novel shows how juvenile the art is. And yet, delve into Blankets and you'll find there are many more layers than those that lie a the surface.
Blankets is artistically simple, yet it's full of life and detail. It's not evident at first, but close attention to the way the panels fit together and interact with one another really shows how this medium can be used effectively. In a similar fashion, the story is pretty much your run-of-the-mill coming-of-age love story. Go a little deeper and there's more. Unpeel that layer and you'll find another. No, Blankets isn't so multi-faceted that it's brilliant and unlike another other story, but it does contain a layer that is quite beautiful. It has the potential to connect with the reader in a way many books struggle with.
At 592 pages, Blankets is quite lengthy by graphic novel standards, but that doesn't mean it'll take long to read. In fact, I felt the end came too quick. The epilogue was sudden and only provided answers to the questions the reader wasn't actually asking. I would've gladly accepted one more chapter; though I dislike stories with neatly tied-together endings, I would've taken slightly more resolution with this one. But that desire for more just leaves me hungry for the next Thompson novel I can get my hands on.