Sorry to say this signed edition has now SOLD OUT. But we have plenty of unbookplated ones.
Since the release of his semi-autobiographical masterpiece Blankets back in 2003, Craig Thompson has been working on a hugely ambitious book called Habibi. He devoted two years to drawing a thumbnailed first draft, immersed himself in Islamic culture, Arabian Nights and a mountain of research — all resulting in a richly detailed story from elsewhere. Like Blankets, Habibi is a story about love in a deeply religious environment (the literal translation of “habibi” is “my beloved”) – but it’s a far cry from the snowy American Midwest, and set not in the Middle East but somewhere else altogether. “It’s more like a fairytale landscape,” said Thompson to Guernica Magazine, who have an 11-page preview.
Sprawling across an epic landscape of deserts, harems, and modern industrial clutter, HABIBI tells the tale of Dodola and Zam, refugee child slaves bound to each other by chance, by circumstance, and by the love that grows between them.
At once contemporary and timeless, HABIBI gives us a love story of astounding resonance: a parable about our relationship to the natural world, the cultural divide between the first and third worlds, the common heritage of Christianity and Islam, and, most potently, the magic of storytelling.
“The book is borrowing self-consciously Orientalist tropes from French Orientalist paintings and the Arabian Nights,” said Thompson. “I’m aware of their sensationalism and exploitation, but wanted to juxtapose the influence of Islamic arts with this fantastical Western take. This is a constant theme in the book of juxtaposing the sacred and profane. As for the latter concern, I didn’t consider it much as I personally ascribe to a sort of “magical” worldview rather than rational. The book is concerned with the connectivity of everything.”We have 200 Gosh! Exclusive Bookplate Editions featuring art created just for this purpose, signed and numbered by Thompson himself. At no extra cost than the £20 cover price, this is definitely one you won’t want to miss. If you’d like to arrange a mail order* or have a copy held aside for you, send us an email to email@example.com.
“Comics can now embrace their natural tendencies to be quiet. They’re like letters. No one writes letters anymore, but they’re actually written by hand. And graphic novels are like that. One person draws every picture. The drawing turns into writing and the writing turns into something visual. It’s something readers consume on their own. It’s not like when you go to your local theater and have a movie sort of wash over you. You take it in intimately at your own pace—like a handwritten letter.”
*A small note on mail orders: postage within the UK is a flat-rate of £5 so you can add some other stuff to your copy of Habibi and we’ll charge you no extra for the weight. We can send you stuff anywhere in the world but because Habibi is so heavy the postage ends up being greater than the cost of the book itself. If that sort of thing doesn’t worry you then send us an email and let me know where you’d like it sent. I will give you your own personally tailored heart attack.