I, like many other fans, have been awaiting Craig Thompson’s latest book ever since I discovered Blankets. Goodbye Chunky Rice, his first book, which I (like most probably) hunted down after Blankets along with Carnet de Voyage, did not sate my need for more of…what he does.
Habibi is luscious. Sprawling, epic, intriguing, and even shocking sometimes. It’s a book you can guess that Mr. Thompson must have really enjoyed making. The illustrations are dizzyingly intricate, and are at once powerful and delicate. He’s created a world that you can swim and get lost in, though you probably wouldn’t want to live there, or even visit aside from being a fly on the wall. Habibi is a good story, just like the Bible. You make leaps, but are okay with them, for the most part, for the sake of the tale. And the way he draws women and children is with a reverence and love and humor I have yet to see paralleled.
A smashing review, really. There are little parts that I might have liked to see happen differently, but on the whole I loved it. There should be a support group “how to read Habibi and not compare it to Blankets, come on, let’s be fair, it really does stand on its own”.
Next on the menu for graphic novel reading: Dylan Horrocks’s Hicksville, for good luck…
(p.s. this place is amazing for happy hour comics reading, though you’d never guess it.)