Craig Thompson's new graphic novel Habibi
is an enormous and genre-busting graphic novel that blends Islamic mysticism, slave/liberation narratives and post-apocalyptic science fiction, creating a story that is erotic, grotesque, and profoundly moving.
Habibi is set in an atemporal Middle Eastern country that seems at times to be caught in classical times, but whose landscape is dotted with derelict jeeps, poisoned water awash in rotting consumer goods and other elements from out of time. Dodola, a child bride, is captured by slavers who murder her older husband, a scribe who had reared her on the stories, sutras and legends he was paid to calligraph. On the run, she rescues a younger slave boy, Zam, and the two become refugees together. They find a new home in the desert, a strangely out of place wrecked ship amid the sands, which they make into a snug home. Dodola raises Zam as her son, and to feed them both, she must prostitute herself to the caravans that pass by their hiding place.
When violence comes again -- when Dodala is enslaved to a capricious sultan's harem -- Zam is on his own, and is also soon in trouble. The story veers into Scheherazade territory as Dodola tries to charm the sultan into releasing her, but with the dark threat that usually lurks in the background in Scheherazade brought to the foreground. Zam is battered by life and circumstance, mutilated and enslaved, and still the two pine for each other.
Habibi is told in a dreamlike, non-linear, dense style, with asides for swirling Islamic legends, the theory and practice of magic squares, the hidden meanings in Arabic calligraphy, jumping from time to time and place to place, giving the book a deep, mythic resonance. The tale is epic and often horrific, but so well told that it grips you right through it's 670-odd pages.
I don't think I've ever read a book quite like this, and I expect I'll be thinking about it for a long, long time.
Update: Mike from Mother Jones sez, " we just posted (on Monday) a cool
interview I did with Thompson about Habibi."
Craig Thompson’s second graphic novel, the 582-page mammoth Blankets, swept the field’s awards, taking three Harveys, two Eisners, and two Ignatzes. More than a decade later, and buoyed by his later successes (such as 2011’s seminal Habibi), Drawn and Quarterly has produced a beautiful new edition.
Munroe’s upcoming book, Thing Explainer, occasioned an interview in Time; in characteristically wonderful style, he answered all the questions with one-panel cartoons. (via /.)
Judith (AKA Miss Mantis) remakes kitschy-sweet porcelain figurines, transforming them with polymer clay, flocking and paint into statuettes of anthropomorphic insects going about their weird, daily business:. Some favorites: Bee Lady “Mìfēng”, Fancy Dancing Mantis Gentleman, Bee Lady “Alice”, Little Praying Mantis Boy, and Scandalous Mantis Dancer.
Today only take an additional 15% off the below drones today using coupon code: DRONE15 at checkoutThe Code Black is our top-selling drone of all time—and for good reason. This powerful, palm-size drone is not only insanely fun to fly, but can capture some serious video footage from up above. With a flight time of […]
Why interrupt your post-Thanksgiving turkey bliss to wait in an epic line, when the best deal of the season is a click away? We’re treating you Mac enthusiasts to the ultimate Black Friday bundle, packed with apps to give your machine a mega boost in the right direction. From Drive Genius to AfterShot Pro to […]
Excel skills aren’t just good to have, they’re essential to your career success. Start from the basics and advance your skills through these dual expert-taught courses. You’ll be fully prepped to earn yourself a coveted certification, and score the job or promotion you’ve been waiting for.Certify your excel mastery and save 99% on this course […]