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Posts Tagged ‘graphic novels’


Tony Huynh Recommends

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

If you are still looking for some gifts or something for yourself, here are my recommendations for games and books that I have enjoyed. I’ll be updating this list from time to time as I think of more stuff to include.

Video Games
Xbox 360 Pro Console
Xbox 360 Live 13 month Gold subscription
Bioshock X360 l PS3 l PC
Gears of War 2 l Read my review
Dead Space X360 l PS3 l PC l Read my review
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare X360 l PS3 l PC
Call of Duty: World at War X360 l PS3 l PC l Read my review
Guilty Gear XX Accent Core PS2 l Wii
Bioshock X360 l PS3
The Orange Box X360 l PS3 l PC
SoulCalibur 4 X360 l PS3
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
Baldur’s Gate 2: Shadows of Amn
Oblivion X360 l PS3 l PC
Psychonauts Xbox l PS2
God of War
God of War 2
Resident Evil 4 PS2 l Wii
Civilization 4
Chrono Trigger DS
Diablo 2

Fiction Books
Heroes Die by Matthew Woodring Stover
Dune by Frank Herbert
Legend by David Gemmell
Stardust by Neil Gaiman l Read my review

Graphic Novels
Blankets by Craig Thompson l Read my review
Sin City by Frank Miller
Thieves and Kings by Mark Oakley
Strangers in Paradise by Terry Moore

Books on Life
Tao of Jeet Kune Do by Bruce Lee l Read my review
How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

Investing & Business Books
The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
One Up on Wall Street by Peter Lynch
Unlimited Wealth: The Theory and Practice of Economic Alchemy by Paul Zane Pilzer
Art of War by Sun Tzu
The World is Flat by Thomas L Friedman
Good to Great by Jim Collins
Built to Last by Jim Collins

Tony Huynh Amazon Search

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Book Review of Craig Thompson’s Blankets

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

I was walking the floors of the San Diego Comic Con when I happened upon the Top Shelf Publishing’s booth. I was in a hurry to reach one of the random panel discussions on the schedule so I picked up a hefty graphic novel with the title of Blankets on it and asked the writer and artist Craig Thompson, “sell me your book in one line.”

He replied, “Neil Gaiman said it best I think, ‘moving, tender, beautifully drawn, painfully honest, and probably the most important graphic novel since Jimmy Corrigan‘.”

“Here’s your thirty dollars,” was my answer.

What I got in return for my money was a heart-breaking, moving, page-turner that had me racing to the end to discover what happens, yet at the same time not wanting for it to end.

Blankets is an intimate autobiographical story about a young troubled artist growing up in a devoutly Christian family. It follows him through the abuse he suffers at the hand of others, his feeling of powerlessness, his loss, his fears, his hope and his first love.

Because this book is based off of actual events the characters never act according to a script and that comes across on the page. The relationships are complicated and three-dimensional. This lends this book its self-effacing, real quality.

We follow Craig through his formative years as a youth in Wisconsin sharing a bed with his brother Phil. Through the hot and humid summers and freezing winters he deals with bullies, vindictive teachers and even molestation from a babysitter. The writer expresses his insecurities about his ability to make a difference in the world around him. He is unable to protect his younger brother and feels guilt over this powerlessness. Craig finds escape through art and religion. On through high school we follow the author as he meets his first girlfriend from Christian winter camp, Raina. Through her we are introduced to her own complicated family life. Raina’s parents are getting a divorce and family problems abound. They find solace in each other. Thompson does not spare us the details in his 582-page tome and as I mentioned before, the novel is not predictable and for me to reveal anymore would be criminal.

What makes Blankets remarkable is Thompson’s mastery over the comic medium. His images and words are haunting and stay in the mind long after you put down the novel. He melds innovative fonts together with art that carries both movement and emotions. I sat there reading and watching the story progress dumbfounded as the artist did things that I have never seen done before. This is an example of a master at the height of his craft. There is one particularly poignant scene that I would like to highlight that illustrates Thompson’s command. This scene occurs when the main character burns his childhood drawings to escape the memories of his youth. Needless to say that Blankets is a work that had a profound effect on me.

See my other related articles also:
Tony Huynh Recommends
Book Review of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust
Tao of Jeet Kune Do Book Review – The Art of Street Fighting

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