A covering, a shield, a container

A panel from Blankets, by Craig Thompson

Last night, I met with a couple of old and new friends to talk about Craig Thompson’s Blankets.

Blankets is a 500-page graphic novel that helped to establish the American graphic novel scene. It’s a memoir of the artist’s childhood and teen years, centering on his childhood relationship with his kid brother and his teen relationship with a girl.

Disconnection and relationship form the book’s two major themes, which is fitting, considering the situation: a couple of guys, some of whom know each other and some of whom don’t, sitting down and wrestling with a book.

We remarked later about the importance of gatherings like this. Of spending a few hours with other people, talking, debating, pointing things out.  This is how relationships are made.

Moreover, relationship is a fuzzy, organic thing — the group doesn’t have a moment where everybody stands up and shouts, “I’m interfaced!”1 It’s not a binary thing. We talk and we grow closer, and the group becomes more. Different.

The work comes first, then the rewards of sharing and relationship and support. But first, slices of bread and opinions, shared across a table.

1 Yes, that’s an MST3K reference to Overdrawn at the Memory Bank.

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