|Graphic novelist Craig Thompson.
Image via Paul Gravett
The first Comica Conversation of the year takes place in London next week: a chance to meet and chat with Craig Thompson, hailed for his graphic novels Blankets and Habibi, and novelist and presenter Marcel Theroux.
Habibi, based on a Middle Eastern fable, tells the story of Dodola, who escapes being sold into slavery and rescues an abandoned baby she names Zam. They live in isolation in an old boat in the desert. As they age their relationship shifts from mother and son, to brother and sister and eventually lovers. In the meantime however Dodola is forced to prostitute herself to desert traders in order to provide for Zam. When he seeks an alternative means of income Dodola is captured by the Sultan and Zam is forced into a quest to try and rescue her.
At heart Habibi is, like Thompson’s Blankets, a profound love story, but it also functions as a parable about the environment and the state of the world. Set in the place where Christianity and Islam began, it explores the fundamental connection between these religions, and also the relationship between the first and the third world and the increasingly important battle for the earth’s resources.
Craig has kindly agreed to do one ‘live’ speaking engagement for Comica Festival. For this UK exclusive event, Craig will give his illustrated talk and presentation about the ‘making of’ this remarkable book, giving rare insights into his research and process.
After this, Craig will give an in-depth interview about Habibi and his other graphic novels, including the much-loved autobiographical story Blankets, to Marcel Theroux, the novelist and broadcaster who reviewed Habibi on BBC2’s The Review Show.
The evening concludes with a Q&A session with the audience followed by a book signing and sketching session, organised in association with Gosh! Comics.
And if you need further incentive to get along: Faber & Faber have generously given the event organisers a copy of Habibi and Craig Thompson will pick out one ticket holder on the night to win it.
• Comica Conversation: Monday, 23rd January, from 7.00pm in London at the St Albans
Centre, near Holborn/Chancery Lane.
Full details and how to book are online here:http://www.comicafestival.com/index.php/site/news/craig_thompson_talks/