Welcome to What You’ve Been Missing! Everyone knows that Wednesday is New Comic Book Release Day. It’s also that magical part of the week where (as comic book enthusiasts and collectors) we’re graced with new and exciting books to add to our collections. It’s awesome, and we look forward to it every week. However, what about those books from our past that we still love so much? Why not take the time to remember those cherished stories as well and share them with others? That’s the goal of What You’ve Been Missing.  Here you’ll find reviews, stories, and pieces written about all books from way back that have affected us, inspired us, and invited us to fallen even deeper  into our love of comics than ever before.

Blankets

Written and Illustrated by Craig Thompson

Article written by Steve Seigh

I’m not the biggest fan of organized religion. I respect everyone’s right to worship whichever god(s), godesses, deities, or Hollywood pyramid schemes they choose, but I’ve found myself (throughout the years) unable to commit to any one religion without hesitation. I’m of the mind that we are all individual pieces inside of a much larger (infinite) puzzle than any of us would ever hope to be able to complete. I believe in faith more than anything else. I have faith that some people believe in a higher power so much that it becomes real for them. I admire this conviction and would never deny a single person the right to honor that belief within themselves.

As human beings we are blessed with the gift of individuality. This means that by sheer will we are able to choose differently than our peers or loved ones. If I have faith in anything it’s faith in the ability to make my own choices. I don’t want to be governed or told how to live. I don’t want rules and I don’t want a blueprint of how some other person or group thinks I should live my life. We’re (presumably) only here once, and I want to have an adventure.

I want to experience life. I want to be inspired. I want to touch, I want to explore, and I want to sin. I desire to know what it feels like to be burned by fire and to be soothed by a woman’s loving caress. Give me unforgettable meals, nights of passion, and challenges that test my body and mind. I want it all and it’s my right as a human being to taste each and every fruit.

Faith, conviction, and belief are beautiful things. Blankets is about all of these things. It’s a artful and wonderfully written, personal journey of discovery, lust, and contradiction. If you choose to read it you will be playing with fire, and you will most certainly get burned.

Blankets, written by Craig Thompson, is the story of Craig and his often brutal upbringing through extreme fundamentalist Christianity. Taught to respect and fear God at an early age, Craig is raised to believe that every word written inside of The Bible was spoken by God himself. It’s while Craig is away at a Christian Summer Camp that he meets Raina. A beautiful and rambunctious young woman, Raina, inspires Craig to question his faith, and believe in something far more powerful along the way – love. It’s a wonderful story about self exploration and the indomitable nature of the human spirit. It’s a story where every last detail of it is trying to share with you another level of depth to the story. Not only will it make you laugh from time to time, but it will also tug at your heart strings and never let go for a single page.

Blankets is (also) woven together with careful attention paid to what we’ve all come to know as “those quiet moments.” As Craig and Rainer fall deeper in love with one another you begin to share in their passion. In fact, at more than one occasion while reading this book I had felt all of the world disappear around me, as I became one with its pages. I could hear the music of Craig and Raina’s lives begin to swell in my ears as the couple experienced triumph at the embrace of self discovery. I could smell the morning snow waiting to be crushed beneath their boots and feel the delicate touch of a hands brushing away loose strands of hair. I felt hesitation when their love was challenged and victory when it prevailed.

Blankets is a story about young love. It’s about questioning your convictions and faith in things you can’t possibly understand. I knew nothing about Blankets upon picking it up, but after what I’ve experienced (and felt) after reading it, I’m certainly glad that I had. I will never forget reading this book and it could very well be one that you have missed. Perhaps it’s time now to seek it out and discover it for yourself.

Believe in life.

Believe in yourself.

Believe in love.

What You’ve Been Missing Soundtrack

This article was written while listening to the album B-Sides and Rarities by the Deftones.

YouTube Preview Image

This article was written by Steve Seigh - Executive Editor of Talking Comics. You can hear Steve on the Talking Comics weekly podcast as well as find him on Joblo.com where he writes a featured, bi-weekly column called Ink & Pixel. His Twitter handle is @dead_anchoress.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

6 Responses

  1. Joey Braccino

    Great column!

    Blankets is one of my FAVORITE books. I wish I could teach it to my students–its rich characterization, nuanced perspective, and gorgeous visual aesthetic and metaphor would make for some fantastic lessons–but alas, the young love may be too… nudey? for the freshmen that I teach (maybe if I had seniors).

    Craig Thompson is one of the best long-form sequential storytellers in the field today. His follow-up to Blankets, Habibi, is equally enthralling. Definitely worth a look!

  2. Steve Seigh

    Joey, I totally purchased Habibi this afternoon. It should arrive at my door by Friday afternoon if all goes well. I can’t wait to read it. Blankets was stunning and most definitely a contender for my End of the Year lists.

  3. Adam Shaw

    Hmmm. I’ll have to order this from Amazon and check it out. It also sounds like one of those books I can lend out to non-comic readers and show them what the media has to offer. Thanks, Steve!

    • Steve Seigh

      It absolutely is, but I warn you, some of the subject matter can be a bit much for some people. It deals with sensitive material and even delves into aspects of religion and circumstance that others will find offensive but it’s all part of a very beautiful story that leaves you feeling light on your feet by the end.

    • Mandi

      Don’t forget about Goodbye Chunky Rice!!! Its by Craig Thompson and is my absolute favorite non-superhero graphic novel.

Leave a Reply