Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Eve Triple Feature: Blankets

Baby, It's Cold Outside....

Wrap Up Tight With

Brrrrrrr! A cold home life and a cold Midwestern Winter set the stage for this deep and introspective tale of religion, redemption, acceptance, and finding a place in the world.
The comic has become a classic, and I highly recommend getting a copy for your bookshelf. It can be bought at this link but until your holiday money arrives it can be read free at Read Graphic Novels Online. I'll quote those good folks in synopsizing the story:
In this autobiographical work, Thompson recalls his childhood, his coming-of-age stage, and his first love. In this book, Thompson also focuses on his spiritual journey, how growing up in an Evangelical Christian family has profoundly affected his life.

In this marvelous illustrated memoir, Thompson takes readers into his rather rough childhood: he always became the target of the bullies at school, his inconsiderate teachers, his relationship with his little brother Phil, and how he found their passion in drawings and art. In the later stage of his teenage years, Thompson met a girl who brightened up his seemingly gloomy life. It was his first love, Raina. Also around that period, Thompson faced an inner battle as he sometimes felt his passion in making illustrations somehow contradicted the Christian values he got from his devoted Christian parents."

The Rating

Off. The. Charts.

The Raves

This. Comic. Is. Gorgeous.
I could look at this thing all day. Really, I could.
But after the visual treat, you begin to see the beauty of the psychological forces involved in the storytelling. This is a story of loneliness and acceptance. Setting most of it in the bleak midwinter of the American Midwest only intensifies the theme. The difference between being outcast and finding those you belong with is as stark as stepping inside out of the bitter chill. And learning who you truly are is as subtle and as freeing as the melting of the ice in Spring. Anyone from the Midwest (and, originally, I am) will understand. For those of you who are not, I'll sum up: the cold of the winter will kill. So will the cold of rejection and dismissal. Warmth and acceptance will save your life.
This story explores both the pleasure and the pain of the cold, both the joy and the agony of coming of age and becoming who we need to be.

This story  is complicated all the more by a rigid and brittle type of christianity that demands conformity from its followers. Being alive is practically impossible, and the unhealthy nature of a belief that cannot bend is explored with compassion and with clarity in this work. In equal parts deeply moving, oddly funny and affirming, 'Blankets' will warm your heart and remind you that the place where you belong is out there, but it's up to you to decide you need to look. This is a story that does the most difficult thing in the world: it takes innocuous experiences of a pedestrian upbringing and shows the depths of pain and the heights of ecstasy to which they can deliver us. The cruel word of a teacher can crush us. The smile of a friend can send us soaring. And that is what it means to be truly and fully human.
If you've ever been lonely, if you've ever been an outcast, this is a story for you. There is understanding in these pages. There is redemption. More importantly, there is perspective. And we all come out the better for reading it.

The Revue

Light the fire. Wrap a quilt around you. Cuddle up against the cold and read. Let the pages sing to you.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Drop us a line!