I finished Craig Thompson’s ‘Habibi’ today while sprawled out in the grass of my favorite park and wrote a beaming review for today’s post, but I’m going to hold off on that until tomorrow. First, I feel I have to go on a short rant about how powerful the medium of graphic novels is.
Between the satisfaction of a physical copy in hand or the elementary school library story time nostalgia of a recorded reading playing through my headphones at work, I have spent more time in the last three years consuming books in one form or another than I have sleeping. Or working. Or eating ice cream. This trinity forms some organically shifting cycle that defines most of my life.
Now, I’ll freely admit that I’m an iffy source on literature at best (I’m not so classically well-read, I do a poor job of following up on most authors who catch my interest, and my focus falls much more on entertainment than critically processing), but through quantity alone I feel that I’ve established some basic conception of quality and creativity. That said, the best of the graphic novels I’ve come by have depth of character, originality of plot, social relevance of subject matter, and overall impact of composition that are capable of rivaling some of the timeless greats that form the foundations of so many discussions and debates among avid readers.
Anyone unfamiliar with this format will, with a few minutes’ research into the matter, be surprised by an unsuspectingly thriving culture rapidly producing great material that spans all genres. So whether you’re a stickler for the classics or, like me, you pick up whatever happens to fall in front of you, try your luck and pick up a graphic novel the next time you pass by the public library. I truly believe that no one can be considered a well-rounded reader until they’ve at least given it a shot. Even a 665 page behemoth like ‘Habibi’ makes for a quick read, so you’ve got nothing to lose. After all, they’re just comics.