blankets notebook

Continual thanks to everyone responding to this blog. My apologies for being lazy with anything correspondence or ‘puter related. Soon I’ll try answering some of your questions… In the meantime, the blog seems like a decent forum for being transparent with the process of comics-making. I still feel secretive with HABIBI, but we’ve three other books to show-n-tell with — Here’s some doodlings from my notebook/sketchbook when I began writing BLANKETS. Kenneth Koch, Marcel Proust, Gnostic Gospels, Ballpoint Pen, 1999!


42 thoughts on “blankets notebook

  1. hello craig thompon,
    i am from holland, went to art school in boston for a year and now i go back to maybe go study art in belgium. i read blankets a year ago and really enjoyed it it reminded me a lot of baudoin’s piero, because you both use the falling in heaven as a metaphore for growing up. the thing is that piero was one of the few comics i had read before, and with yours its one of the few that i like. thank you very much.

  2. Hi Craig,

    I started reading comics late in life because I went to film school, and wanted to see a visual media that had an interesting way to tell stories with pictures.
    I wasn’t that into it, but then I saw Goodbye, Chunky Rice, and it was amazing. I am from Mexico and was studying in NYC, having left all my friends behind, and Chunky Rice really hit me.
    You are an incredible story teller and artist, thank you for your art…


  3. craig these are fantastic, keep up the good work and don’t stress too much over the new book (absurd in its impossibility, i know, but worth saying). we all love what you’re doing.

  4. Hey there,

    I’m a big fan of yours and also Menomena – as soon as I saw their album cover, I knew you drew it. Thank you for you and your art – you inspire me (and my meager doodlings) I love your art and I can’t wait to see more.
    @ speed of dark music blog

  5. Is this how it starts? Just sketching and writing subjects and people to weave into the story later? Or do you have an outline already thought out first?

  6. Craig,

    I am reading Blankets right now, but I’ve already skimmed ahead and browsed the ending. First of all I have to say thank you for such a honest and heartfelt story. I fear I relate far too much to your experiences growing up.

    That said I have some questions:
    What ever happened to Raina?
    Do you still ever communicate?
    What were your parents reactions to the book?
    Has there been any other feedback from any people you depict in your stories?
    How would you feel about being interviewed for a podcast?

    I look forward to finding out the answers.

    If you are available for a podcast interview, please email me at

    1. Did he ever respond? I just finished blanket, and I feel such an emptiness over Raina’s disappearance. There was no closure. Did Craig ever find it? What happened to her?

  7. Craig –
    do keep on publishing these notes. they shed a great light on Blankets (which I just finished for I think the 7th time).


  8. Hey Craig,
    Its Andy Wong from Newberg. Haven’t seen you in a while. I think the last time was at the Alison Bechdel reading at Powells Burnside. I missed you at the Kurt Halsey Frederickson show at the Missing Link. Anyways I hope this message finds you in good spirits and good health. Keep a Positive Mental Attitude. Vizualize your goals. Life has a funny way of working things out but things always work out for the best. Hope to see you soon and I’m excited for your new book and the things you will share with us in your blog.
    Rock N Roll

  9. Oh and for everyone else,
    Here is a painting I got from Craig that was done at a live performance during a Tracker / Menomena show in Portland. Its big and its hanging on my wall now.

  10. Craig, thank you so much for this blog!
    It’s grueling waiting for a book without hearing nothing. Keep on posting!

  11. Craig,

    Great post! I love seeing your creatice process. Simply amazing and beautiful. What kind of notebook is that. It looks like an unruled spiral and I would love to get my hands on one for my travel sketching. Thanks for all the inspiration.

  12. I don’t think in any language. I think in images. I don’t believe that people think in languages. They don’t move their lips when they think. It is only a certain type of illiterate person who moves his lips as he reads or ruminates. No, I think in images.

    I don’t think Nabokov was talking about cartooning when he said this, but it seems relevant anyway. I hope you’re well, and keep up the good work.

  13. I got Blankets for my 29th birthday…by someone who is too special for me…she is special. I read it many times, and i can always see my entire life passing through the pages…i loved this book.
    Tnx Craig

  14. Thanks so much for posting! this helps a lot with my own process. I’ve got essentially a 14 page poem/prose piece storyboarded out, but I’m stumped in a lot of ways. I keep feeling like…

    “ok on this page its going to have this feeling and i want these lines to echo these”

    but then i don’t know how to get the specific images set. Seeing your notebooks reminds me to relax and just let the story flow out of me first, and THEN get down to framing and such.

    Now back to the drawing board! 😉

  15. Hey Craigers,

    Nice mustachio! I stumbled upon this blog of yours today …while waiting for my fiancé to free up the shower.

    I’m back in Norway, and the weather is very Oregon-like.

    Oop! The shower is now free!

    Surfs up,

    Big Tex

  16. Wow, reading through your notes, I can see where and how pieces of your story came together. It’s a real treat, like divulging secrets.

  17. Craig,

    I have a radio show about comics, that kind of makes a soundtrack for each comic; while I reveal a part of the story.
    In Blankets some of the chapter are named after song of Tom Waits an The Cure, is it a coincidence, I never heard anyone talking about that, I need to know, to put together a nice soundrack for blankets

  18. Craig,
    Thank you so much for sharing these notes. Blankets is one of the most amazing works of art I have ever experienced. Every time I read it, I feel as though I am “tapping” into my own memories and it is such an unbelievably wonderful adventure. Okay, enough ego-stroking..for now. Keep up the good work on Habibi, I can’t wait to read it!

  19. Hey Craig, I really enjoyed blankets, but I don’t understand why you broke it off with Raina. I know she wanted space. But the time in which she wanted it, and the time in which you said good bye, was long. I really liked her and I thought it was possible to take the relationship to the next level. And I know that she considered your relationship another responsibility, but still there were a lot of possibilities. My sister is similar to Laura and I think that anyone that can love and care for others like Raina did for Laura is so beautiful. Or maybe the distance and time wore heavily on the relationship. Out of sight, out of mind? I have passed up some good ones, and regetted the decision afterwards, and i felt sad when You said good bye to her. What am I missing?

  20. Hola Craig, acabo de leer Blankets, en la edición española (soy español y vivo cerca de Madrid). La edición es soberbia, con las tapas duras y sus 600 páginas, lo convierten en una auténtica novela gráfica. La narración pausada y sin la velocidad habitual del comic, la convierten en una lectura para que las sensaciones y sentimientos que provocan se aseguren una larga duración y habitabilidad en el interior de quien la lea. Al menos así ocurrirá en mí. Salvando las distancias y las culturas (cada vez más cercanas y similares), me veo en ellas. Dormí con mi hermano; me meaba la espalda (en mi caso de verdad…); sufrí la losa de la culpabilidad y contradicciones católica…; y sí, me liberé a través del comic, pero no dibujándolo: leyendo todos los que en aquella España que salía de la dictadura franquista se podían conseguir.
    Bien, no me extiendo más. Mi más sincero agradecimiento por haber hecho algo tan bien hecho, con unas viñetas tan bien estructuradas y con una sensibilidad tan emocinante. Ahora sólo espero convencer a mi hija de 15 años para que lo lea. Un saludo, y espero que Astiberri publique pronto alguna de tus otras obras.

  21. I was walking through barnes and noble one afternoon, skimming through the vast lines of books looking for something to grab hold of my attention. i came upon your book, i grabbed hold of me and for some reason i did not put it back into the shelf. I just stood at first reading the first few pages, then moment came to the end and i was sitting down on a chair next to the window. I can honestly say my body and mind was seperated becuae you have sucker punched right behind my head. It was happenstance finding your book, too the music i was listening to perfectly fit into the emotions of the book. I read blankets whenever i feel disconnected from the world. i have given the book to everyone that i know will appreciate everything that is on those pages. All of them called me to say simply “thank you”, so i simply will say “thank you”.

    And….i cant wait til Habibi comes out…

    Best of luck,

  22. HEllo Craig, sou brasileiro e ilustrador e li “blankets”(“retalhos” no Brasil) é Maravilhoso!!! Emocionante como escreveu uma historia tão emocionante? Até coloquei um post de seu livro em meu blog ! Você me inspirou a desenhar graphic novels. THANKS!!

  23. i am such a fan. i just started reading blankets and i am in love with your storytelling. it bleeds with beauty and emotion. am very eager to check out habibi and all that you have imagined.


  24. im not sure what to say, im not sure if you’ll really ever read or see this, but i want you to know, i just finished blankets, like an hour ago, and my heart burns with questions, but im not so sure i really want them answered, i think the mystery of the questions adds even more to the story. But um, i loved the book, i cried as it was ending, and after i put it down i contiuned to cry, not just at the story line, but because it made me relize how quickly life can come up on you, im only 17, im a senior, and thinking about the furture scared me to the bones, not for fear of growing up, but in fear of going through life not living..idk why im doing this, or telling you, or posting this in public.. but i just.. blankes helped me relize that this is my life right now, and that i should enjoy my family and my friends..i wanna major in some sort of art related subject, right now its photography, but i havent done anything to get anywhere in any field.. idk where im going with this… um, i guess what im saying in a few to many words is thank you… i also wanna know if this empty, lonely, lost and confused feeling ever goes away, if its just a part of growing up?
    mmk…well enjoy 🙂

  25. Hello there, i’ve just finish blankets, and, this novel make a lot of sense in a love histrory with a woman. she acts exactly like raina, and i do the same as you, in fact my raina gave me this book, while she was asking from me “time”, it might be a signal, gues what, im on my 20’s now, good time to avoid this eternal love with she. But i wont, thanks for sharing your story, i would like to talk to you if its possible. I’m depressed right now, so, do it as a favor, it would be great, i need to talk someone

  26. This is amazingly insightful in relation to process. It reminds me of my brother’s intense journaling that makes thought visible and creates a rich field to create from.

  27. Not sure if you will see this comment or if it will merely get lost in cyberspace. Blankets was my introduction into the world of graphic novels when it was first printed years ago. The book still resonates with me today. I’ve begun tinkering with a script of my own and I was curious about something with blankets. Where did you draw the line between autobiographical and your own “embellishment” on the story. I want to tackle my own sort of autobio work but did you change names, places, or some event specifics to tell your story? Thank you for your time. I genuinely enjoy your work.

  28. There’s not much more to say than what’s been said already. You’ve done an amazing job. I’m still curious though – what ever happened to Raina? Will you ever let us know? If you do… I know it’s pretty ridiculous that people (like me) expect you to reply, but that’s just how much you’ve touched others with your work.

  29. Amazing story… the amount of emotion put into this was amazing. I wish I could know more. Great work! I’m so intrigued with Raina and wish I could know more. Like other people mentioned, what ever happened to her? Do you still talk? Again amazing story and your work is extraordinary!

  30. Im pretty new to this whole graphic novel thing, and over the past couple of years I have sifted my way through the classics as recommended by friends and countless top 10 lists. I have been affected by many novels, but craig, I know you have probably heard this a dozen times before, but Blankets hit me…hit me hard! my childood was very different as I grew up in sunny South Africa, but the feeling you acheived in blankets of past regrets and the haunting of forgotten ghosts was spot on on and has affected me like no other. I have woken up on many mornings and pondered the what ifs, but maybe as with you and Raina, a memory is all you need!! A hearty applause Craig!!!!!!!!

  31. I found Blankets by skimming Listopias on I checked it out from my library hesitantly because I was afraid I would find it preachy and dogmatic. Instead I found a tale of child abuse, self-loathing, religious brain-washing, co-dependent relationships, and then, liberation and freedom. Bravo to you for surviving your journey. Bravo to you for the courage to speak honestly. This novel will change lives.

  32. I love your works and Blankets is my favorite, I have read it so many times, but i still wonder do you know whatever happened to raina?

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