I’m reading the much-acclaimed graphic novel “Blankets” by Craig Thompson. I’ve been meaning to get around to it for a while now, but I only just bought it. Started it yesterday, and I’m already half-way through. It reads pretty smoothly, and I’m surprised at how quickly the chapters pass–and at a hefty 582 pages, that’s no small thing!
It’s pretty much the story of the guy falling in love in high-school, and it also details some other (mostly traumatic) events from his childhood/teen life–and it’s autobiographical. Since I’m only half-way through, I can’t say if the relationship ends happily-ever-after; but, I mean…come on…it probably doesn’t…they were kids.
The love story is interesting, but I’m more interested in the faith-based struggle he’s fighting. It’s got a very Christian element to it. Darkly so, though… He’s a very religious person, reading the Bible every night, feeling a lot of guilt about his sins, expressing gratitude to God…but at the same time, he struggles with not really liking worship services, not digging preaching, and wanting to have a relationship with God that his parents and teachers find unconventional (basically, he doesn’t want to sing…he wants to draw). He lives a conflicted faith and he’s pretty honest about it in the book. (Of course, the girl’s a big part of the faith-story as well…as it always seems to go in life.)
I hope his faith-story ends happier than I expect his romantic one will. I really identify with that aspect of the book. I see a lot of myself in that story.
By the way…I don’t really think it’s appropriate to refer to this as a “Christian” book–and that makes me really sad. There’s a good deal of “dirty” [sic] words in it, and there’s also some nudity. However, the former just makes it feel real to me…and the latter is done in such a way that if anyone’s getting aroused by it, they’re just sick. (One instance is a retarded girl of about 19 having her shirt changed by her younger sister who cares for her. One is a scene of sexual abuse…and I’m not sure if there’s more later since I haven’t finished it.) Thus far the potentially “offensive” [sic] stuff has been there for shock-value, but not for shock’s sake. It’s there to draw the reader into how disturbing and REAL those situations were for him.
I wish stuff like this was in church libraries. Shoot…I wish I could stock this in the COLLEGE library. Unfortunately, this (thus far) seems exactly like the kind of story the average Christian (especially college-age) would really benefit from hearing…but the fact that it has a foot planted firmly in the real world will keep it out of the pulpit. That kind of thing always makes me sad. Shoot, even if the guy ends up being a complete agnostic and hates God, the description of the journey is definitely worth hearing about. There’s a fine line between a pastor and a heathen…and stuff like this book really makes me feel better that I’m not the only one who sees it.
I just hope the second half doesn’t suck! 🙂
- Big news, actually… I’m listening to final mix-downs before adding keys to my new record. It’s almost done, folks.