Doot Doot Garden: The Blog of Craig Thompson
Doot Doot Garden: The blog of graphic novelist Craig Thompson
full circle November 10th, 2011

My first time to Europe was in 1995 for a two week community college scholarship. Note the effects of sixteen years of aging –
– vital brain matter still sprinkles out of my head.  (Stravinsky Fountain – Pompidou)

Just got home from HABIBI Eurotour yesterday. Thanks to all of you for your patience with the blog neglect. And tremendous thanks to my
EU readers that made it to the events. Frankfurt – Paris – Turin – Lucca – (rental car drive from Pisa to Brussels) – Brussels – Ghent – Leuven – Antwerp – Amsterdam.    Too  many places to sum up, though speaking at il Circolo dei Lettori in Turin was a great honor — a glorious space, joined on stage by Randa Ghazy, the author of DREAMING OF PALESTINE and translator of Italian HABIBI.

Met many amazing folks along the way, including my oft-acknowledged inspiration Edmond Baudoin.
Here we are drawing each others portraits the day before he traveled to Rio de Janeiro for a comics show.

HABIBI travel continues next week, but this time on home turf – the state where I was raised and its neighbor.
Wednesday, November 16th — 2pm at MIAD and 7pm at Boswell Books in Milwaukee, WISCONSIN!
Then on to Chicago, Illinois — Quimby’s on Thursday, November 17th (7pm) — and The Book Cellar on Friday, November 18th (7pm).

PS to Michaela who asked about my “educational background”. I attended UWMC community college part time for a year and a half, and MIAD for a half year. Then dropped out and worked as a bagel maker, telemarketer, laser light show animator, newspaper ad stylist, ad agency graphic designer, grocery packer, house painter, warehouse box-packing grunt, and graphic designer at Dark Horse Comics.

20 Responses to “full circle”

  1. Liesbeth Says:

    Dear Sir

    When will you be in London? Can you let it know asap please? Because I have to book Eurostar tickets in advance!


  2. Juan Díaz Canales Says:

    Hi Craig,
    It’s was such a great pleasure to meet you in Lucca. I’m glad about your successful European tour and I’m sure it gonna continue in the States.
    So, I hope Teresa and I would have the chance to see you both somewhere in a near future. All the best !

  3. anneke Says:

    It was lovely meeting you in Ghent, too bad the lecture at Sint Lukas Brussels didn’t happen, me and my classmates were looking forward to it!

  4. another Liesbeth Says:

    It was great to see you and Brecht Evens signing/drawing at the bookmarket! :) Liesbeth

  5. Paul Says:

    I really really hope you come to London D:

  6. Rae Says:

    I just bought and finished reading Habibi yesterday– what an amazing, touching story. It was truly magical.
    I’m planning on coming to your book signing at the Book Cellar in Chicago. :)

  7. Luiz Says:

    I hope you come to são Paulo – Brazil again. I would like to have the chance to know you and thank you… Blankets changed my life

  8. Anthony Says:

    I remember you leaving UWMC. I had a feeling you were meant for something more than central Wisconsin, and you were! :)

  9. Alberto Says:

    I really, really hope you’ll wear the pins. It was wonderful to see you here, in Turin.

    Take care.

  10. Ronnie Says:

    Is there a stop on your book tour anywhere near Akron or Cleveland, OH? I had the privilege of meeting you a few years ago at Wizard World Chicago when you were just starting Habibi. I live a bit further from Chicago now but would like to speak with you again. Hopefully, I will get that chance. Thank you.

  11. jess smart smiley Says:

    That’s a lot of traveling! Sheesh!

  12. jess Says:

    16 years has been kind…and your taste in sweaters has definitely improved!

  13. Adam Matthew INK Says:!/note.php?note_id=308763462467534

    Thank you for coming to Milwaukee! I gave you two of my comics after the talk at MIAD and you drew in my collection of your books, I really appreciate everything that you do. Thank you!

    -Adam Matthew INK

  14. Alex Says:

    Just got back from the Quimby’s talk! It was amazing and really insightful to your work and the world of comics. Thank you for coming and signing books (and my sketchbook)! What a great experience that I’m sure all of us will treasure. Looking forward to whatever comes next.

  15. Kunic Says:

    I can’t believe you were in Ghent. Whereabout?
    Please come back. :)

  16. matthijs Says:

    Hi Craig,

    Just read your interview with “De Stripspeciaalzaak” (the one where they showed you a of pages from a bunch of different European comic strips) where you said Islamic culture (whatever that is) chose to write books by hand long after the printing press was invented.

    This reminded me of an article I read in a newspaper some 8 years ago (a Dutch newspaper, must’ve been NRC or so) about printing in Arabic. The article said Islamic writers knew about print but chose to ignore it because it’s no substitute for handwriting in Arabic (since, as you point out in Habibi – loved the book, btw – the way characters are joined together in Arab script is quite fluid). Even to this day printed Arabic is but a poor substitue for handwritten Arabic. The article (which was on a Dutch professor of Arabic who had supervised writing a computer program to do typesetting in Arabic properly) went on to note that printing was only properly introduced into the Arab (well, Ottoman) world when, in the 18th century (!) a protestant Hungarian refugee who had fled from religious persecution in Catholic Austria-Hungary (to this day there’s a sizeable Protestant minority in Eastern Hungary and in Transsylvania) started printing books in Ottoman Hungary.

    Not that this is in any way significant or relevant to Habibi, of course. Just thought you’d be interested to hear about this.

    Loved the book, of course

    — Matthijs

  17. ;) Says:

    bought a huge comic book today told ppl it’s the kuran 😉 so exited to read it, had to sneak peek to it and its wow!

  18. Alex Says:

    it’s been a pleasure to meet you in Lucca and to tell you how much yourk work is an ispiration for me. hope to see you soon in Rome!!

  19. Jens Says:

    Habibi is a really great book with a lot of social wisdom in it.

    Just a detail: On page 250 + 251 you mention Aristotle as “father of biology” and Jabir Ibn Hayyan as “father of chemistry”. Their theories shown on those pages are simply completly false, not founded on any evidence and in no way helpful (that other metals are formed as combinations of sulfur and mercury is simply nonsense). In fact they blocked science from starting for several hundred years. What is presented in your book is alchemy and astrology which have nothing to do with chemistry and astronomy. The first real chemists and biologists had to fight against those fairy tales (and were not successful in the beginning most of the time).
    But there had been some real scientists both in the greek world and in the ararbic world. An arab scientist calculated the diameter of the earth long before western scientists where able to.

    …again: I really love this book.

  20. Rob Wentz Says:

    Craig what year did you go to MIAD? I read blankets a few years back and was blown away – Sounds like we had the same type of fundamentalist upbringing. I was taken aback by how much I resembled the lead character – not just the life events but you couldn’t have drawn a more accurate visual caricature of me during my highschool years!? It was almost creepy to read. I was so taken aback that I researched you a little bit and realized you too attended MIAD! When? I was there in 94-96 as an illustration major until I moved back down to Chicago to attend IIA for a computer animation degree.

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