Graphic novel??? What the heck is a graphic novel I asked my son Ramsey. That was about two years ago. It turns out, it is what I would call a bound comic book.
When I learned that Ramsey had bought me one for Christmas this year (and it was $29) I didn’t know what to say. I mean, I knew he liked graphic novels, along with about every book that has been written. But I had not read a so-called graphic novel since reading Mad Magazine as a teenager. My expectations were low to say the least.
I finally picked up my new book after I had finished Grapes of Wrath and A Catcher in the Rye. I had two other books started, a new Biography of Francis Schaeffer and Heaven Misplaced. However those were my hot tub books. I needed a Starbucks book, so I grabbed Blankets.
If it means anything, I read Blankets in one day. Yeah, it happened to be a Sunday and I didn’t have much going on. But after I opened the cover that morning at Starbucks, I couldn’t get it off my mind.
Yes, I know that comics, woops, I mean graphic novels read faster, but the book does have 592 pages.
First of all, I was really impressed how well my son knows me.
He had said, “Dad, I really think you will like this book.” But I didn’t know why . . . until now.
First of all, Craig Thompson writes beautifully and draws even better. That alone is captivating. However, there were other points that were alluring to me.
It is autobiographical and while the main story line is about Craig’s first love with a gal named Riana, the subplot, or “B Story” has to do with Craig’s rearing in an Evangelical home. Despite his best intentions, (sorry to give anything away) it is also about his eventually leaving the faith.
Thompson writes with incredible realism. Over and over I thought to myself, “Yes . . . I’m sure that’s exactly the way it happened.” His Evangelical candor is like that of Frank Schaeffer. But he does not take up the embellishments and over-dramatizations of a movie like Saved.
I think the book does a wonderful job in exposing the dichotomy that a young man faces while believing in the Evangelical’s pretense about the world, but, having to live in the realism of a very different world.
Ramsey knew that I would love this “B Story” because he knows that I hold this issue very dear to my heart. The issue of course is Evangelical dishonesty that helps to lead to 80% of our children eventually leaving the faith.This book is a must read for every open-minded, honestly-searching pastor and youth pastor.
The third reason that I enjoyed this book so much is that the crux of the story takes place in