Cartoonist-to-cartoonist interview with Craig Thompson

June 27th, 2006 | Uncategorized

When I was in Portland earlier this month, Powell’s Books set up a conversation between me and Craig Thompson. Craig’s beautiful graphic novel Blankets crossed over and got a lot of mainstream readers when it came out in 2003. He lives in Portland, and both our books are about growing up in small towns with, um, kind of dysfunctional families. So Powell’s thought we’d have an interesting conversation together, and indeed we did. Although perhaps we both overdid the self-deprecation a tad.

20 Responses to “Cartoonist-to-cartoonist interview with Craig Thompson”

  1. Duncan says:

    I walked into the Undergrate Library here at IU this morning, glanced at the New Arrivals shelf, and there was Fun Home. Minus dust-jacket, but I recognized it anyway. I wonder if anyone will check it out?

  2. Duncan says:

    Um… that’s Undergraduate Library.

  3. Christina says:

    Sometimes on my way home from work, I stop in the book store in grand central station (nyc). They had your book propped up — I was first attracted to the cover, then the title, opened it up and loved the illustrations. I stayed up last night to read the whole thing (my boyfriend kept bugging me to turn off the light) — I really really loved it. You are an incredible artist and gifted writer. I will have to read it again…there is so much meaning in your words…

    Oh! and I have never seen a comic profile of NJ! I grew up right over the Palisades cliffs ridge in the urban/suburban jungle of NJ…so it was funny to recognize the view from the west side!

    Good luck!!!

  4. Susan says:

    Hi Alison,
    Yeah, Hypergraphia…
    I don’t know where I first learned the term but I related to it. Used it in my High School journals to describe myself. now with email and blogging, there are lots of outlets…oh, and uhm, commenting in other people’s blog…

    Anyway, cool interview/discussion…interesting. Can be fun to feel “old” in that way sometimes. I know I like asserting my 45 year oldness sometimes.

    I guess it must hit you…your Dad died at 44 and you’ve crossed that threshold. with publishing your book you’ve made 45 an even more notable year. Just underlining the fact that you are indeed, very much alive.

    Funny that you jumped right in to ask Craig about his tools. I can’t imagine drawing with a brush and without pencil first. Holy moly.

    you have me curious…what is a digital font?? I assume you designed it? does it know when to use the second form of a letter all by itself or do you have to tell it to do that? are there two of every letter…or only some?? will you share the secrets?


  5. Anonymous says:

    Unrelated to the above post, but I tried sending an email to and the mail was returned as undeliverable owing to a full inbox. Alison & co., are you aware of that problem & or able to fix it?

  6. Aunt Soozie says:

    okay…cause I swear it wasn’t me who filled up the mailbox…honest…for real…

  7. Deb says:

    Me either!!!!! For honest really!

  8. mlk says:

    I was going to send Alison a note about Fun Home, but I guess I’ll wait. will say here, though, that your ritual of kissing each stuffed animal before going to bed at night was quite touching. maybe that kept alive the ability to love — and express love — when growing up in an undemonstrative and confining household? a great deal of love and caring are expressed in Fun Home. and I imagine that more than lust and sex have passed between you and your girlfriends!!

  9. Anne says:

    I’m begging you to come to Denver sometime. I mean, we can’t spend every waking moment talking about skiing. I’ll loose my mind! Anne

  10. Anne says:

    or lose my mind, more likely. Anne

  11. Aunt Soozie says:

    Was that a typo…bathetic?
    or just a word I don’t know?
    I’ll go look it up.

    I was also touched by that image, it was very sweet.
    but,the fear of not doing it “just so”…
    and that little girl not getting her own goodnight kiss…make it bittersweet, sad.

    and Deb,
    I’m sorry but,
    I’m kinda thinking it WAS you that filled the mailbox.

  12. Katie, Alison's Assistant says:

    Rest assured that a crack team of email specialists we are working on the email issue. We can’t give a timeframe, but we’ll figure something out so that you can send your questions and comments again.

  13. Paula says:

    My dictionary says:

    bathos |?b??äs| noun (esp. in a work of literature) an effect of anticlimax created by an unintentional lapse in mood from the sublime to the trivial or ridiculous.

    bathetic |b???etik| adjective

    mid 17th cent.(first recorded in the Greek sense): from Greek, literally ‘depth.’ The current sense was introduced by Alexander Pope in the early 18th cent.

  14. Ed says:

    Ugh. The New York Public Library has Blankets but not Fun Home. I am hoping the only reason they haven’t ordered it yet is because the fiscal years ends tomorrow but they’re missing out on some good circulation.

  15. Aunt Soozie says:

    Thank you Paula…I got this…
    Main Entry: ba·thos
    Pronunciation: ‘bA-“thäs
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Greek, literally, depth
    1 a : the sudden appearance of the commonplace in otherwise elevated matter or style b : ANTICLIMAX
    2 : exceptional commonplaceness : TRITENESS
    3 : insincere or overdone pathos : SENTIMENTALISM

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  18. bailey says:

    good job people

  19. Angelique says:

    u guys do a good job drawing