Blankets - Craig Thompson

This is a beautifully rendered and lovingly told autobiography. Thompson opens his childhood to us and displays the sad development of his life stifled by insecurities, fears, Christian dogma, and emotional denial. It is a grand, prolific undertaking (the longest graphic novel ever) undermined by a lack of specific focus. All lives have various facets and it is degrading to reduce them to a few points, yet I felt at a loss to what--if any--meaning I was suppose to be left with. Should I be sympathetic over Thompson's lack of connection to his strict and religious parents, angry about his inability to protect his brother from molestation, and/or confused how he let an impossibly perfect relationship just slip away? Like with Good-bye Chunky Rice, Thompson relies on instilling emotions in lieu of substance, which causes them to dissipate. If he were able to provide empathy through solid characters and plot, he would be a tour de force in the comic world.