Doot Doot Garden: The Blog of Craig Thompson
Doot Doot Garden: The blog of graphic novelist Craig Thompson
kazim ali & jens harder April 10th, 2014

This morning’s clutter on the drafting table – inking several SPACE DUMPLINS pages simultaneously. Also my friend Kazim Ali is in town for a reading from his new book SKY WARD at Reed College TONIGHT (6:30 Elliot Hall Chapel) for those of you in Portland. Here he’s writing Arabic on my new Cintiq (more on that in some future post… As evidenced above, I’m still inking with actual India ink & brush.).

Finally, this just arrived in the post – BETA (…civilizations volume 1) by German cartoonist Jens Harder. In this intricate, mind-boggling, coolest possible coffee table book, Jens catalogues the history of human evolution & civilization. Every image in the 365 page tome (apparently the first in a trilogy) is sampled from existing media – cave paintings, etchings, pottery, photographs, film, comics, etc. then redrawn in Jens’ meticulous brush lines. For those of you who thought HABIBI was nuts, this takes it to the next level. Speaking of which, here’s a page that references HABIBI in the development of written language.

A favorite page of mine groups CHRIS WARE alongside Caravaggio, Courbet, and Magritte to name a few.

8 Responses to “kazim ali & jens harder”

  1. Jordi Says:

    Cool! I’ll check BETA for sure. It looks fantastic. Cheers, Craig!

  2. Lujain Says:

    After reading Habibi, I must say I’m super excited for Space Dumplins. Is there a release date yet?
    Also, I’m very curious as to how you learned Arabic calligraphy–was gobsmacked when I found out you’d done all the typographic illustration yourself. Arabic being my first language, I was very much impressed by the precision of you Arabic writing. It’s a very tricky language to learn late in life, I’d imagine. How long and how difficult was the process? And to go as deep and thorough as to quote poetry by Bader Shaker Al-Sayyab is mind-boggling to me. Who did you consult during the writing process?
    I’m asking way too many questions! Sorry! I’m just really fascinated. Big fan here :)


  3. Teresa Says:

    Hello Craig, thank you for showing so much of your work! Im very interested in it. As you mentioned the german author, i was wondering if you know Sebastian Stamm, he is also a german creative and not long ago i read his comic book called “Lescheks Flug” which means “Flight of Leschek” i guess. You can look at it here:
    If you like. Maybe there will be an english version soon. Have a good time and sorry for my english…

  4. Jess Smart Smiley Says:

    Holy shmow! I gotta get me a copy of BETA. That’s insane!

  5. Wade (near Wichita, KS) Says:

    Sir (Craig T.), the drawings above (and info., and your friends/colleagues) sound interesting, so I’ll check those out (!), BUT…FIRST…I wanted to say…

    …I am in the process of reading “Blankets” for the 2nd time in 5 or 6 months…

    …I bought “Blankets” as a gift for my cousin…

    …I just listened to your podcast on…(what’s that show called?)…(let’s see)…”CLAPTRAP” (on iTunes)(from a few years-ago)…

    …ANYWAY, the bottom line: thanks for inspiring me and for pointing me in the direction of good art!

    Good luck on future projects!

    Long-live the proliferation of good, honest art!

    -Wade (ALSO born in 1975!) (I’m exactly one month younger than you…whatever THAT means LOL) Anyway, Craig, take care!

  6. Dan Says:

    Craig, I’d love hearing about your experiences with the Cintiq. I’m considering getting one, and wonder about the “digital” feel. Sadly, good bristol paper and brushes have become spare and expensive. I’m avidly awaiting your review!

  7. Philipp Says:

    Hi Craig, if you like BETA you should also check out ALPHA. No humans there but a lot of animal-evolution.

  8. Jasmine Says:

    Love these! Look forward to it! Please let me know if I can interview you for my Master’s Thesis on Muslim cartoons, a chapter of which will be solely devoted to Habibi. Please get back to me. I have been trying to reach you to no avail.

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