Review of “Blankets,” by Craig Thompson
Graphic novels are officially growing on me, and more than just dark ones like the Locke & Key series (which you should definitely check out, if you haven’t already). I recently picked up “Blankets” and was instantly hooked by the story.
“Blankets” – a YA memoir of the author’s teenage and adolescent years covers so many topic that unite everyone – religion (and the confusion involved with figuring it out for ourselves), family relationships (siblings, parent expectations, divorce), and the sweet sting of first love (ah, me). But it also tells a tale that is completely its author’s own – and the beginning of his journey in figuring out who he is.
Though I finished this graphic novel a few days ago, I’m still chewing on its deeper meaning and the nuggets of wisdom it imparts (including the value of “or”). But, in my own writing at least, I’m a big believer in the reader taking from it what they may. At different times in your life, different parts of a story will touch you – sometimes the author means it to and sometimes its by accident.
So, whether it was intended or not – this story made me contemplate love.
<I know, considering my genre of choice, it’s really not all that surprising, is it?>
(Okay, kind of spoiler alert below. If you don’t want to hear my wax poetic about love, just pick up the book: 5 out of 5 stars! … Otherwise, read on.)
But more than just the feelings gained (or lost) love invokes, I thought about the feeling in general. In the beginning of relationships, it’s not uncommon for one to ask another: “have you ever been in love?”
Maybe, it’s mere curiosity or to make sure that if those words are uttered later, you can rest easy that it means something (maybe if the answer is less than a particular number?). A past partner told me, that he thought he was once, but (as it ended) he now believed he’d never been in love. When looking back through the years, I realize that I’ve discounted relationships in the past, with the aid of my seemingly wiser adult eye. I’m sure everyone does.
But, if it doesn’t work out or your person doesn’t return the depth and breadth of the feeling…does that negate it?
I think love is more fluid than that. Some forms are never meant to last – spectacular but fast shows of light – like fireworks on the fourth of July, lifting your spirit…if only for a little while. Some are like a safe harbor among a wild sea, always waiting for us, if we’d only allow ourselves to anchor. Some are transformative – making us who we are or helping us put our pieces back together. Some are soft and steady glows of light, that promise to burn for as long as we can feed the flame.
Anyway, check out “Blankets” and relive that exciting, unsure, and awkward thrill of your first love. And then have some wine and smile. After all, not ending up with your first (second, third, or tenth) love isn’t really a bad thing. ‘Tis better to have loved…