chunky ten years ago

Work on HABIBI is progressing, but recent pages feel like spoilers, so it seemed like a nice time to reflect on my first book
~ GOOD-BYE, CHUNKY RICE. Below is a page I drew a decade ago — on December 9th, 1998 to be exact.

(The page preceding it was drawn November 20th, but I liked this one more. To account for the three weeks between pages,
I’d been working on graphic design work for Top Shelf, a collaborative pitch with Phil Amara, gag cartoons and a monthly comic strip
proposal for NICKELODEON magazine.) Anyways, here’s the ballpoint pen thumbnails for pages 104 and 86.

And here’s a photo of me taken approximately the same time — my first trip to the Oregon coast. Look, I was just a boy (23 years old)!
with a bad haircut! Sandwiched between covers of the first printing and current printing of CHUNKY – now available from Pantheon Books.

31 thoughts on “chunky ten years ago

  1. I decided to write this comment here because it is the most up to date. I read Blankets not to long ago and it was truly amazing. I really related much to the story. I’m going to major in theatre and minor in film and I always thought Blankets would make a great movie. I have thought sometimes that if I was famous enough I would love to produce or direct such an amazing piece. I think it would really be incredible to make a movie out of your work.

  2. Now that I know you where only 23 when you made Chunky Rice, I’m inspired because I really would love to finish something I started. And now I give myself one more year, thanks for sharing little pieces of your workproces on this blog, it’s great.

  3. Really wonderful to see this stuff and have your thoughts on it. I had no idea you were that young when you did Chunky rice. Amazing and it still looks beautiful. I can still remember the excitement in the comic shop after it came out.

  4. Hello for all and Craig.
    I finish to read Blankets, now. I was 45, you have move my remenber and I love Raina. After I search Raina, but where is your face?, do you any photo of she?. When I was sixteen I had a history similar, but the history had a diferent end, but started with similar emotions. I had cristian, now no.
    ThanK you Craig for your work.

  5. That page of Chunky Rice surprised me so much I started laughing out loud. It was one of my favorites. I’m really excited you blogged about it! πŸ™‚

  6. Tucker Warner -> I enjoyed ‘Blankets’ too, really nice comicbook, but I think a movie isn’t a good idea… Emotions and soul of story is a rare thing in movies, reeally rare I think. Some things are easier to be told by comic :]
    [Forgive me my if I made errors, english is not my first language].

  7. When I first read Blankets, I thought no other comic / graphic novel could evoke so many emotions, but then I discovered Chunky. Everything there is to be told about friendship, love, the pain of it, longing to be with someone, being apart, wrong and right decisions – you just say it in there. I can’t ever describe how important this book is for me πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  8. I really need to get my hands on a copy of Chunky Rice. I”ve only read Blankets and humbly await the release of Habibi, but already I”ve got a friend into your work. You so remind me of a singular combo of the 3 of my brothers all squished into one entity. Yer good schtuff!!

  9. Oh! What an inspiring openness you portray of an artist’s life and thoughts.
    i must admit i am little in love with this blog πŸ™‚ to me, this serves as yet again the evidence, that no, artists do not work in a vacuum.

    best wishes from finland!

  10. Wow! I love that book and am pleased to see you created that page on my birthday πŸ˜‰ I’m really looking forward to Habibi as well…. cheers!

  11. whoa.. makes me wonder what I was doing when I was 23..

    Chunky Rice is such a great book; I love the whole atmosphere of the story and how everything connects. It’s simply brilliant.

  12. ooooooooooooh I just noticed the book “Reading Lolita in Tehran” A memoir in books. Is it good? I’ve not read it yet, however my dissertation for my degree is about Nabokov’s Lolita, so I ran into this book before. πŸ™‚

  13. Chunky rice is really lovely and truly poignant. I read that book when I was in the crossroads of my life too, where I was meeting new people and bidding old friends farewell. A simple tale like that really spoke volumes of the otherwise indescribable feelings of the part exhilaration, part nostalgia journey all youths have to go through into adulthood.

  14. You know, shortly after reading this entry last year, I finally got off my rear and bought this book. Since I am physically incapable of leaving mail unopened when I pick it up, the book was already out of the envelope in the car on the way home. My eldest (age 10) picked it up, started reading it and wouldn’t put it down until he finished it. His review: “That was weird.” Cheers. πŸ˜€

  15. I love this page of Chunky Rice because you illustrate Chunky’s emotions to a point that I am moved. All of his sadness and fear of the unknown becomes obsolete when the Motown blasts on the radio. Your illustrations express so much through their simplicity. I read through Chunky in one sitting and then started from the beginning again! Thanks for the work!

  16. I just read ‘Goodbye, Chunky Rice’ for my first time yesterday. In my Art class, we are making our own graphic novels, and this was the first one i grabbed. It’s beautiful, touching, creative. and it’s a book I would want to have on my shelf for a very long time. Thank you (:

  17. Mr Thompson, firstly i have to say your art is amazing, particularly Chunky Rice which reminded me so much of my best friend who lives far away. I’ve already sent a copy in a package for her this coming Christmas. So I hope she likes it, since your work never fails to touch any heart. Thank you so much πŸ™‚

  18. I just finished Chunky Rice last night. Really loved it. I must confess that I’d debated whether or not to read it for a while, because I wasn’t sure what to feel about these half-human characters and I couldn’t quite look at the Siamese twins. But I’m so glad I read it. Once again, I was moved by your book (as I was with Blankets). You’re obviously good at both text and illustration. You also have a very inventive and cinematic way of staging your stories.

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