Sunday, February 17, 2013

All other books go home. You lose. Habibi is the best.

Buffalo Exchange jacket,  Zumiez sweatshirt, H&M dress, Wet Seal leggings, Labels Consignment boots and socks,  North Face hat, Fendi glasses

Ever since I checked out Blankets from the library where I worked at the time (about five years ago), I have considered Craig Thompson to be the absolute master of the the graphic novel. Art Speigelman gets a lot of praise (rightly so) for Maus, and Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi is also widely considered literature, transcending its somewhat fledgling genre. And while both of these authors are fantastic and deserve all the praise they get, I'm always baffled by how few people have heard of Thompson, the other giant of the graphic novel form.

I remember cracking open Blankets one night around eleven pm, thinking I would read for a bit and get to sleep. Three hours later, I had plowed through the entire thing, feeling awed by the power and beauty of the book, and guilty for devouring the gorgeous illustrations so quickly. It immediately became, and remains to this day, one of my favorite books of all time. 

I recently got around to bringing home his second major work, Habibi.  I didn't think it was possible for it to live up to its predecessor, but I supposed I would still like it. Guys, I was so wrong, in a completely amazing way. I don't think I can be super objective, since I haven't read Blankets in awhile and it's not as fresh on my mind, but I still feel confident in saying Habibi  is even better. The level of the illustrations so far surpasses that of Thompson's contemporaries that I suspect it might just be embarrassing for them. I could gush on and on, but suffice it to say that this is the most moving, beautiful, complex, lovely book I have read in a  very long time.  So yeah, here I am wearing clothes, but more importantly, here is something you should read, own, and evangelize. And screw Amazon. Find a local bookstore in your town and spend the extra bucks to support an essential industry.

A quick note: my blog, despite having basically zero readership, has suddenly gotten really spammy. So I've turned off anonymous commenting, sorry if this causes any inconvenience!