Signs of the Times

Craig Thompson Travels Canadian

Everything I read by Craig Thompson stops me in my tracks. Most recently his Carnet de Voyage (Top Shelf Productions, 2004). It is a travel journal of sorts woven into a narrative leading you through his experiences on a European promotional tour for his graphic novel Blankets as well as some lonely solo travel into northern Africa.

Thompson grew up in Michigan but I think we can claim him as a pseudo-Canadian since he likes Leonard Cohen (and shares his birthday) and pretended to be Canadian while travelling to avoid unwelcome associations with Bush's America.

When I first flipped through Blankets, a story of young love and self-discovery, I wanted to crawl inside and not come out ever. When I was done, I couldn't think of anything to do with myself for a good long while besides sitting peacefully and staring into nothing. This is the after-effect of seeing that much soul. Nothing seems relevant enough to warrant dislodging the magical aftertaste in your brain. Thompson's deeply personal stories are laced with sweet moments of innocence and self-deprecating yet sobering reflections on the persistent loneliness of existence.

It's so beautiful in there.



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