race car driver

When I woke this morning to snowfall in Portland – fat, fluffy flakes in the midst of our flowery spring – it seemed the right time to update the blog.

Your outpouring of support concerning HABIBI process/progress has certainly buoyed my spirits. aww shucks Thank you!
So with your blessings, I plow forward with work on the book, and hopefully fit in an occasional blog update to stay in touch.

Recently excavated from the studio closet is a box full of BLANKETS roughs and production materials — including over
a hundred pages I edited out of the initial thumbnail draft. Here’s a peek:



34 thoughts on “race car driver

  1. I love these roughs. They really inspire me to put more effort into the writing stage of my own comic work. Thanks, Craig.

  2. Beautiful, man. I recently found my sister’s copy of Blankets lying around the house, so I put it in the bookshelf along with a lot of old books inherited from my grandma, nearly or over 100 yrs old each. Hopefully that copy will survive as long as the others ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Whoa, yeah, we had snow in March here too – really rare for a country that doesn’t even let you build a snowman all winter.
    Just checked in here, love your new work. Keep up the blog, it helps me and everyone else go through with tedious crappy jobs etc because of the inspiration it provides, etc.:)

  4. Did you really say that when you were a child – that you wanted to draw cartoons? Fascinating. I’m over 50 and I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up.

    Thanks for sharing these glimpses of your work – and yourself.

  5. When I see the sketch of the naked girl, I just want you to sketch me!!!
    And I also wanted to draw cartoons as a child…and I’m doing a web designing degree. I’m almost there!

  6. Hey Craig, is it true you’ll be at the Stripdagen in Haarlem in the Netherlands? I remember meeting you there 4 years ago, and your name just popped up on the list of people present there this year as well. It would be awesome to see you again and get my dutch Carnet de Voyage hardcover signed and sketched…

  7. Graig ,itร‚ยดs fantastic your work, your sketches are incredibles!
    You are my inspiration and one of my favourites drawer at all!
    Thanks for doing that fantastics thinks, ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. great work on Habibi!!!

    Can’t wait to read it… and since all nice things in life are worth the wait… I guess I will wait!

    Keep it up!

  9. You really need to put a way to subscribe to your blog on here, like an rss feed or something. I’d love to keep up more with this, but I’m terribly forgetful…

    Like Bone was the rejuvenation to read comics again for you… Blankets is what did it for me, also in keeping up the drawing of my younger days.

    I love these drawings. Process humanizes the impossible works we come to idealize. But in such a strange way, that it doesn’t lose value, but instead, gains it by adding muscle to the flesh and blood of your work. Thank you for being willing to share. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. In the sketch of what has being called “the naked girl”. There seems to be certain properties of physics that have been overlooked in certain portions of the drawing… Is this to give the image a more idealized look–as if from memory?

  11. I’m always wondering how you can represent in such great ways the world around you! Your visual language is pure poetry in everything you can do! Thanks for sharing!


  12. Hello
    I just finished reading blankets, it is a pure wonder!
    I am in a hurry to read the rest of your work
    Erwan from Paris

  13. I discovered your work back around Christmas when an old friend sent me “Carnet de Voyage.” I liked your casual brush style, so I bought “Blankets” and read it. I really like your work, and now I’m trying to incubate a graphic novel idea myself as an exit strategy from the declining newspaper industry. No snow down here in Huntington Beach. You should come down for a surf sesh some time.

  14. Craig, if supportive comments kept your spirits up so you could keep creating, I’d leave a glowing comment every day. Like this:

    I’ve recommended your work to everyone because I found it so beautiful on every level — in the visuals, the writing, and the emotions evoked. It makes me happy to know someone like you exists and works so hard to share your talent and thoughts with others. The stories you have shared are incredibly validating to others who have also gone through the kinds of joys and sorrows you depict so gracefully – with insight, humour, and compassion. After I read Blankets I was in a bit of a dream-like daze myself for two days, back in my own coming-of-age and first-love time.

    We are currently culling our books and I’ve had to get rid of so many, in order to fit well into our new home. In the midst of this, however, I ordered copies of your books so I could have them forever. They’re more than worth their price (and the space), and I know I will take pleasure in re-reading them. I will wait patiently to buy copies of Habibi for myself and others and hope you don’t have to take up too much other work to pay for the time you’re putting into it.

  15. Hello Mr. Thompson.

    ALL of your work has spoken to me in more ways than one, and your skill and technique is a boundless source of inspiration to me and many people I share your work with.

    Particularly “Blankets” which I first read when I was around sixteen or so, and it has affected me profoundly and has left such an impression on me that I was never really the same after finishing it.

    Your work is GORGEOUS, GENUINE and so moving, especially in how you render emotion into your drawings.

    I am looking so forward to HABIBI in many ways, especially since I too have an interest in Islam and Islamic imagery.

    You’re a legend where I’m from. No matter how hard the days get, or how life seems to pass you by, I hope you know how much of an effect your work has had on so many people.

  16. That “Jesus with the lambs” couple of pages absolutely kills me! It’s great… and would’ve fit so well in Blankets. It’s too bad you had to cut stuff out.

  17. I absolulety love the art work that you have in Blankets. I like how its all sketched out and has the smallest details in every picture.

  18. hey,
    I read your book yesterday.
    it made me cry for half an hour.
    its probably the best book i read until now.
    it inspired me to start making my own graphic novel. i’ll start wit it today ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Blankets is such a wonderful story! I’m just curious as to how much of the story is true. This no matter how I put it will probably sound stupid but did you ever try to make contact again with that girl?

  20. Dear Mr. Thompson

    We’ve read your illustrated novel “Blankets” and enjoyed it very much.
    Especially the drawings made us soked in into the story.
    You gave us a great insight onto your life and the development of your personality, without letting out details like you and your brother peeing on each other.
    You showed a lot of courage giving up your faith even thogh this must have been such a big and difficult step for you.

    We can totally relate to your statement that it’s important to leave something behind in the world even if it’s just temporary and not eternal.

    We like to know how your story went on and if you’re still in contact with Raina.

    Greets from Berlin Germany

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