Graphic Novel Spotlight: Habibi by Craig Thompson

This week the Matchmakers team welcomes our guest blogger, Youth Services Associate Shannon Cooch! Shannon writes:

Who doesn’t want to uncover the dark secrets and illicit whispers of a challenged or banned book these days? Craig Thompson’s enigmatic graphic novel, nay tome, Habibi, is sure to satisfy your need for the heinous and enigmatic.

Set in a timeless Mideast, Habibi follows the star-crossed paths of two victims of abandonment, sexual exploitation, poverty, and the corporate machine. Sometimes hard to read, due to numerous graphic depictions of violence and sexual aggression, this is ultimately a tale of perseverance over tyranny and trauma through friendship, love and faith.

In truth, the stunning art makes the read. This scripture like book is an opulent treasure of black ink calligraphy. The scrolling middle eastern motifs float from page to page; it is hard to know where to look first. Not only do the breathtaking illustrations offer endless fodder for reflection, but the underlying commentary on pollution, patriarchy, religion, and sexuality will provide endless threads for personal or group contemplation.

Recommended for those who have picked up Blue is the Warmest Color by Jul Maroh or Grass by Keum Suk Gendry-Kim.

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