Per class discussion, here are links to interviews with Craig Thompson, author of Blankets.
Craig Thompson at Meltdown Comics (this is the full video that we watched a clip from).
Craig Thompson transcript – Contents (this is the transcript to a lengthy interview with Thompson; part 7 includes information on Raina and his source of inspiration for her character)
If you liked Blankets, you might also enjoy:
Daytripper by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá (apparently Craig Thompson did the introduction!)
Extra Credit Opportunities:
1) Every semester, I invite students to submit something in response to the text that I can use for a mini-zine. There are a few ways to get involved here: you can write a mini-book review (think micro: a few sentences to a paragraph), create art (do you like to draw? Did Thompson’s book inspire you?), make a playlist for a mixtape they might have listened to in Raina’s truck, write a letter to the author or to any of the characters, write fan fiction, poetry…I’m open to other ideas, if you have them. Up to 5 extra credit points will be awarded for submission, OR you can also help me put the zine together if making content isn’t your thing but designing a layout and making photocopies and cutting/folding/distributing is.
2) Book Club! Craig Thompson has another book called Habibi that came out in 2011. The artwork is similar as is the feel – it reads like an autobiography, but the story is set in a fictional Islamic world. NPR gave it a great review. However, some have criticized Thompson for taking an Orientalist approach, which is a word that describes how Middle Eastern people are stereotypically represented from a colonialist perspective (read: white people own black and brown people and their stories). Basically, Thompson is a white midwestern dude, and he used Middle Eastern story and art for play and to earn a profit. Is that okay? Why or why not? I’ve been wanting to read this book and would love to host a book club in my office for anyone interested. Meeting time is TBD depending on interest/availability. If you’re interested, please let me know. This would take place over several weeks, 2-3 meetings? Up to 10 points will be awarded based on attendance and discussion.