September 29, 2011 | Graphic novels
For years we’ve waited.
Seven excruciatingly long years have passed while Craig Thompson quietly crafted the follow-up to his universally acclaimed graphic novel, Blankets.
But as soon as you begin reading his new book, Habibi (Pantheon, 672 pages, $40), the reason why we’ve waited so long becomes instantly clear: work of this astounding depth takes years to achieve.
Habibi (Arabic for my beloved) is magnificent, sweeping and lavish with a level of detail that is frankly staggering. Thompson takes readers from the introspective journey of Blankets to a spiritual one, as he beautifully blends cultures and faiths into a mesmerizing love story.
As with Blankets, Thompson pulls no punches and puts his heroes — young slaves Dodola and Zam — through some nightmarish trials. But the journey is well worth taking as the star cartoonist delivers another triumph.
(This article first appeared in the Toronto Star)