Skip to main content

September 2015

Blankets (Craig Thompson)

What can I say about this graphic novel?!?!?!


I was never a huge fan of the graphic novel until recently.  In fact, the moment I was converted was a quiet afternoon at work; my colleague and I were randomly browsing the Junior Fiction.  Enter Jane, the Fox and Me by Fanny Britt.  Suddenly I realised that graphic novels weren't all science fiction, fantasy and reluctant male readers.  The illustrations in Jane, the Fox and Me are beautiful, as is the story.  I have a colour photocopy of one of the illustrations on my fridge, which involves Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre caressing a swim-suited sausage.  Graphic novels, why had I forsaken you????

So fast-forward to Blankets.  It's a hefty read at 600+ pages.  But it's a graphic novel so it's not a dense or taxing read.  But it still takes time.  There were moments when I would stop and just gaze upon one certain picture, or read a few words and then shift my focus to each detail in the beautiful, beautiful illustrations.  "Reading" the graphics of the novel made me realise something... a picture truly does paint a thousand words.  Some of the sequences were just pictures, and often I found myself wondering, what words I would use to describe the pictures I was seeing?  How many pages of text to describe this one scene?  And that's the beauty of it, my words could change and morph depending on what I focused on - they weren't restricted.  It was a liberating reading experience.

Blankets is a moving, somewhat autobiographical tale of a boy growing up in a poor, rural town with a younger brother and Christian fundamentalist parents.  It is also a story of his first love, and how his experience of love is shaped by this upbringing.  The narrator reflects upon his experiences and choices within the teachings of his faith, and eventually comes to his own conclusions.

It's not s story with a rollicking, action packed plot.  It's not a story with a great romance and a happily ever after ending.  It's a simple tale, peppered with vignettes of childhood and adolescence that are universal in theme.  Craig Thompson has taken a story that is ordinary, and made it something special.  It's like nothing else, and it's totally awesome.

I repeat.  READ IT.  NOW.  (Only suitable for more senior readers though, so keep that in mind!)


Popular posts from this blog

Using librarian skills to uncover a network of dodgy shopping sites!

In all my posts over the years I'm not sure if I ever mentioned I am an avid steampunker.  Like many of my quirky fellow librarians, I love a good dress up and recently found myself searching for a great pair of boots to go with the Steampunk Aviator Superhero costume I'm assembling (trust me, it will work!).

One evening whilst idly thumbing through Pinterest I found a picture of these undeniably AWESOME combat-boot style boots.  I followed the link to the website ( and although it didn't look dodgy and offered PayPal, I am a cautious online shopper and always check the customer reviews first.  They were 1000% abysmal.  Like the kind of reviews that say SCAM, THEFT and CAN I LEAVE 0 STARS.  So despite loving the shoes, I was definitely not parting with my money on this occasion.

Fast forward a couple of months and I see an ad for Victorian-style cosplay boots in my Insta feed.  Did I mention that I am an avid steampunker?  Because seriously, these shoes…

It only takes a second (ment)

What the hell is a secondment?
Some people I have chatted to have no idea what I'm talking about (and I also discovered that some spell-check utilities don't even recognise the word) so I thought I would clear the confusion by ripping a definition straight from Merriam-Webster:
Definition of secondmentplural-s

: the detachment of a person (such as a military officer) from his or her regular organization for temporary assignment elsewhere.

So if you just substitute "library services officer" for "military officer" you have an explanation of my situation!

Being a qualified Librarian can take you in so many different directions. One of the reasons I chose the tag "Ambidextrous Librarian" was because I honestly had no idea which direction my career would go. I have worked in school libraries and the kids and teachers are absolutely fantastic, but the pay, conditions and options for career development aren't all that varied. I tri…

A Somewhat Risky Business

Working in a public library means I am surrounded all day by books (duh).  Books are such pretty things - there is a reason why publishers spend big bucks on cover design, and that's because we pretty much ignore the old "don't judge a book by its cover" and happily judegy-judge away.  We can't help it, bright and shiny things attract us!

So as I was standing at the circ desk the other day having a bit of a rest between patrons, I found my eyes drawn yet again to a book that was on display.  I had been gazing at it on and off all day, and I couldn't really make out the title but it was the dress that caught me, and the shiny peach converse trainers, and the pose, and the luxurious hair.  I decided that the universe was telling me I had to borrow it, even if I had absolutely no idea what it was about.  I took it home without even reading the blurb.

The book was titled "This is just my face; try not to stare" by Gabourey Sidibe, the actress who starr…