HABIBI IS OUT!

6 years in the making. 672 pages. Arabic calligraphy. Islamic mythology. Hardbound. Foil-stamped. Out today.

“I never know the endings of the books when I’m working on them. I spent a year on the first rough draft and couldn’t figure out the ending. Then I spent another year on the second rough draft, and still couldn’t decipher the ending. Four years later, I was approaching the last chapters, and I still was clueless where it needed to go. I was seeing a therapist at the time. He said, “Why can’t you give the characters what they need? You’ve found it in your own life, why not give it to them?” I went home and wrote out the ending that actually worked.” —Craig Thompson

Habibi lifts the bar of graphic storytelling to new heights, both by the intricate, dramatic density and breathtaking scholarship of Thompson’s panels and by the sheer scale and decorative beauty of his flowing, roiling, protean style. Thompson is the Charles Dickens of the genre, able to capture all the scary, heartbreaking, brave, uplifting details of his characters’ fates while orchestrating the big-picture machinations that connect them to the lives and times of his readers…Habibi is a masterpiece that surely is one of a kind.” –Elle Magazine

“After finishing ‘Blankets’ I was sick of drawing myself and these Midwestern mundane landscapes, and I just wanted to draw something outside of myself, and something bigger than myself. I was leaning in two directions – either something fantastical and epic in a classic comic book fantasy way, or something more socially and politically relevant like Joe Sacco’s comic book work (N.B. Joe Sacco is the author of the excellent ‘Palestine’, ‘Footnotes in Gaza’ and ‘Safe Area Gorazde’). ‘Habibi’ ended up meeting in the middle of those two ideas.” —Craig Thompson

“To keep it interesting, I want all my projects to be completely different from the last, at least in terms of surface qualities. I’m not one of those cartoonists who wants to work with one set of characters for my whole career. And I would like each book to be completely different.” —Craig Thompson

Craig Thompson is one of the stars of the alternative comics world. In1999, Goodbye, Chunky Rice led to his winning the 2000 Harvey Award for Best New Talent. His graphic novelBlankets, a autobiographical coming-of-age story came out in 2003 and was a big hit; Thompson’s telling of his fundamental Christian upbringing and his first love struck a chord with many readers. In the years since, he produced only one book, Carnet de Voyage, a travel sketchbook about a tour through Europe and Morocco. With the publication of Habibi, a retelling of 1001 Arabian Nights, Thompson returns to the top of his game.

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