Bechdel vs. Thompson

Cartoonists Craig Thompson (Blankets, the amazing Good-Bye, Chunky Rice) and Alison Bechdel (Fun Home, in my to-be-read stack) have a long, great, superb conversation over at Powells. As a bonus, it’s moderated by an informed Powells employee who doesn’t feel the need to condescend to comics, and who clearly took the time to read the cartoonists’ work carefully. If you have any interest in how cartooning is done, and how labor-intensive it is, please read this.

(Via Scott McCloud.)

About Walter Biggins

Walter Biggins is a writer based in Atlanta, GA. He is the co-author (with Daniel Couch) of Bob Mould's Workbook (Bloomsbury, 2017). His work has been published in The Quarterly Conversation,, Bookslut (RIP), The Comics Journal, The Baseball Chronicle, and other periodicals. Twitter: @walter_biggins.
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2 Responses to Bechdel vs. Thompson

  1. Wax Banks says:

    You’re spot-on about Rice – heartbreaking – but am I alone in thinking that Blankets is dull, sickly-sweet, and too long by a factor of 5? I think people talked so much about it because they were glad that graphic novels were finally diving headfirst into the cliched treatment of first love so beloved by young novelists. Thompson’s art is lovely of course, but after reading Blankets I got the sense that I’d gladly pitch him over the side of a sinking ship if I thought it would save the rest of the passengers.

  2. Walter says:

    I think you’re being too harsh, though it is indeed overlong and overripe. The first-love plot grated on my nerves after a while, but its treatment of family dynamics and its ability to look at fundamentalist Christianity without being patronizing or snide is quite good. In fact, it’s so rare to see autobio comics–or alternative comics in general–that deal with Christianity without resorting to mean-spiritedness and polarizing politics that Blankets was refreshing. Even though it basically ends with Thompson rejecting Christianity, it’s the rare comic that treats religion seriously instead of as a mere punching bag.

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