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Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011

Thompson's 'Habibi' an Artful, Epic Graphic Novel

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Craig Thompson's graphic novel Habibi is sure to attract attention: With the opulent hard cover, artful, Islamic-influenced pages and the epic fable described therein, Habibi offers a romance that spans the Midwest to the Middle East in a fantastical and classic love story of a harem and the slave she rescues. Dodola and Zam, child orphans who are bound to one another with a sacred connection that develops into an extraordinary passion, move through time across landscapes of deserts and modern industry in a truly compelling adventure.

Habibi
is influenced by Arabic calligraphy and Islamic geometry, as seen throughout this beautifully designed, fluidly drawn book. At the heart of this touching love story are tales from the Bible and the Qur'an as well as elements of Arabian Nights. The saga is woven throughout with questions of spirituality and environmental destruction as it replays a parable about our relationship to the natural world, the cultures that divide the First and Third worlds, and the magic of storytelling.

Thompson is a Midwestern-born artist whose sophomore debut, Blankets, earned him critical acclaim and was honored as Time magazine's 2003 best graphic novel of the year. Thompson spent a short time working for Dark Horse Comics before devoting himself full-time to his own work. He has been working on Habibi since 2004 and will discuss the novel 7 p.m. Nov. 16 at Boswell Book Co.