The basics: Habibi is the story of Dodola and Zam, two orphans who find companionship in one another. It's also the story of Islam and Christianity's roots.
My thoughts: I had Habibi in my read-a-thon pile, but I didn't get to it. I did, however, make time for it last week and found it so compelling I read it in a single sitting. It's an epic graphic novel in scope, ambition, art, story, and of course, length. I'm sure I would find new parallels and meanings with future readings of it.
What makes it feel most epic, however, is how brilliantly Thompson uses the format to achieve meaning. The story is powerful, and often quite dreary, but it's a story I don't think any other format, including film, could replicate with equal power. As I read it I found myself concentrating more fully than I typically do while reading. I was fully immersed in the time and place. Still, I found time to marvel at the utter idea of this graphic novel. How did Thompson think of it? It's simply majestic.
To get a feel for the art, Amazon has a nice gallery of customer photos.
The verdict: Thompson is a master and has created an amazing story in Habibi. As I read it, I was captivated like a child by its magic. Highly recommended to both graphic novel fans and those unfamiliar with the form.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Length: 672 pages
Publication date: September 20, 2011
Convinced? Treat yourself! Buy Habibi from Amazon.
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