chunky rice

self-pity bunny

i’m happy to report that craig thompson is even better than my initial impression lead me to believe. i enjoyed blankets, but good-bye, chunky rice (his debut) has more amazing art than that book. in this book his artwork is even more densely solid and filigreed, so much so that they look like they could be woodcuts. here (1 | 2) are links to some sample pages.

i actually enjoyed his more recent book more, from 2004, called carnet de voyage which apparently means “travel journal” and is an artists’ tradition of putting together a casual sketchbook. in this instance the book recounts thompson’s travels through france, morroco, and then spain. at first the daily mundanity of travel depicted in the book put me off a bit, and the artwork, mostly portraits, landscapes, and crowded city/market scenes, grew repetitive, but after i finished i found myself flipping back through it … repeatedly. yes, the “plot” is about as interesting as any of your or your friends’ travels with as many stories of traveler’s hardships, but thompson’s desire, as a lone traveler, to connect with the people he meets, his battle with homesickness, his self-mocking at his self-pity, and the relationships he forms ring true, and his genius is really brought out in his drawings, particularly when they happily stray from the real-to-life sketches. as an added bonus the book includes some sketches from artist friends he encounters on his travels, including a portrait of the artist by mike allred (the genius behind madman and my personal hero because of his work on x-statix). there weren’t really any sample pages online, but i scanned two in (1 | 2), the first of which is esp. for winnie. his site is also worth checking out.


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