From the internationally acclaimed author of Blankets A triumph for the genre Library Journal , a highly anticipated new graphic novel 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 themFrom the internationally acclaimed author of Blankets A triumph for the genre Library Journal , a highly anticipated new graphic novel 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 We follow them as their lives unfold together and apart as they struggle to make a place for themselves in a world not unlike our own fueled by fear, lust, and greed and as they discover the extraordinary depth and frailty of their connection 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.
Habibi From the internationally acclaimed author of Blankets A triumph for the genre Library Journal a highly anticipated new graphic novel Sprawling across an epic landscape of deserts harems and modern
I don't usually read graphic novels, but on the recommendation of my roommate (and the fact that this is one beautiful-looking book) I started reading this. At first, I wasn't sure how to review it, because frankly I had a lot of conflicting feelings about it. Some parts I loved, some parts I hated, some parts I wonder if I just misunderstood. But it's okay, because that just means I was given an opportunity to write a review in what is, personally, my favorite reviewing style, which is:THE GOOD [...]
A couple weeks ago, I read and reviewed Chester Brown's Paying For It, a book singularly concerned with separating love from sex. Brown forwards the idea that fewer problems arise if we segregate sex as completely as we can from the relational sphere. He does this to such an extent that he proposes that sex is a pleasure best paid for and made entirely transactional. It's not spoiling anything to say that Brown, as he represents himself in the book, is more wholly concerned with sex than he is w [...]
It's just too bad. This book is conceived in a truly spectacular way, and visually, it succeeds and succeeds and succeeds. Even at its most whimsical and farflung, the stories of the prophets and the references to mysticism thread elegantly through the narrative. Thompson has a knack for portraying themes through symbolism in an elaborate, poignant manner. The book was at its best, actually, during these side-stories. The basic narrative is, rather literally, fucked. The theme of the story is co [...]
Yay for Orientalism!"My beef with Thompson is about his staggering Orientalism, which I’ll get to shortly.Themes of longing and survival permeate Habibi. The protagonists, Zam and Dodola, long for each other, likening this to a yearning for the Divine – Middle Eastern poets have done this for centuries. Zam and Dodola endure horrible events in the name of survival, perhaps tying in with Thompson’s conservationist theme by implying that our disregard for the earth is tantamount to rape and [...]
I picked up this mind-boggling graphic novel on a whim, and I'll forever be grateful for that. My head felt like a spaceship right after finishing. Prepare for this to change your perception and the way you think about everything.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. We follow them as their lives unfold together and apart; as they struggle to make a place for themselves in a world (no [...]
Wow. I guarantee you've never read anything like this book.
Habibi means Beloved in Arabic.Which made me think of Toni Morrison when I first laid eyes on the graphic art album. By the end of the journey it turned out that my initial fancyful association was not so far-fetched and random as I expected. Because this is a story about pain and suffering among the dispossessed, the persecuted, the enslaved. It is also a story about strength and faith in the most cruel circumstances, about the things that unite us and help us make it through the night. Religio [...]
Habibi is a laboriously gorgeous comic, with beautiful drawings, inks and atmosphere. Ever since Craig Thompson announced it on his blog years ago, I had been really excited. I had loved Goodbye Chunky Rice, liked Blankets, and was sure that Thompson would craft a beautiful story with all the care that it would require. It's a real shame that it's a hopelessly orientalist narrative with virtually every other *ism you can think of added in with bonus writing that really isn't that great. We spend [...]
SpoilersAbsolutely awful, one of the most rage inducing things I've ever read. I don't even know where to begin, there were that many fucked up things about it. Random, rambly thoughts:-Habibi was a ridiculously offensive graphic novel filled with nothing but racist, sexist, orientalist, misogynistic rubbish. Then there was the glorification of abuse and rape running throughout, the main character couldn't go at least a couple of pages without being naked, raped or victimised.-The story itself w [...]
I am just sad and very upset, ignorant and shallow orientalism go through this book from start to finish. The artwork is amazing, although I hate it when arabic calligraphy is misused as a decor and with random meaningless letters. The elaborate usage of religious stories that had nothing to do with the ideologies in the book and its storyline that were furthermore exploited sometimes by misinterpretations was just too much for me. Overall it's overwhelming and not in a good way, as a Muslim wom [...]
I can’t recommend this book enough. This graphic novel is a testament to the fact that the physical book should never die. Habibi is a work of art full of Arabic calligraphy, bleeding pages and detailed imagery that is both Arab and African, modern and ancient. And equally as exquisite, compelling and daring is the book’s story of two slaves, one African and one Arab and how the world shapes, destroys, and evolves them. THE Best Book of 2011.
I tried, really really hard I tried, but Habibi has defeated me. I simply cannot help myself, I put Richie Rich's face on the men and Veronica's on the women. Graphic novel remains, for me, a term of art without substantive affect on my vision. To me, they're comic books, and I didn't ever like comic books.So sorry. I'll go now. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
This is a gorgeous book, from cover to cover and all the illustrations (and calligraphy) in between. I wasn't sure in the beginning that I would like it, but I quickly found I did, and then the pages turned quickly as well.In the beginning, because of the age of one of the main characters at the start, I (naively?) thought the story was set in the past, but not too far into it, I realized the time is now. And because of that, the story is relevant, as regards the treatment of females, of those w [...]
I couldn't review this book until I came up with a suitably convoluted metaphor:This book is like being hit by a pillow shot by artillery at great range. There's a lot of noise on delivery, it takes forever to hit you, and when you do there's a lot of mixed feelings, but mostly just confusion, annoyance, and uncertainty about what exactly the point was.In opposition to what Craig Thompson may or may not be discouraging you from doing (maybe?), I'm going to make a broad stereotype. A person raise [...]
This is a difficult book to rate. If I were rating on the artwork alone, I would give it four or five stars. Thompson's penwork is outstanding. He has grown as an artist over the course of his career, and he started at a pretty decent level too. Gorgeous design work, beautifully composed panels. Not Thompson's, but the hardcover edition is itself beautifully designed and a pleasure to hold.Unfortunately, I don't think the story is quite equal to the art. It's very good, probably better than my t [...]
In an interview Craig Thompson told his audience that artists must become vulnerable if their work is to mean anything. This dark and agonized work has a great deal of nakedness in it, both literally and figuratively, and a lot of staring directly at human experience and trying to make sense of it. It also looks with a colder, more dispassionate and assessing eye at the overlap in the religious teachings of Christianity and Islam.This is Thompson’s fourth published work, and one glance inside [...]
I can’t remember the last time my thoughts were divided so cleanly in half when considering a book I’d read. For every “so,” I had a “but” to countermand it. The synthesis of these opposing opinions, it seems, is a middling rating – but I wouldn’t say that it’s any sort of mediocre book.So. The initial reaction I have, at a gut level (said gut having been conditioned by too much school and cultural theory), is to go running to find Edward Said’s ghost and show him what this g [...]
Triggers in this wonderful book. Habibi means many things in Arabic, a term of endearment to others, but I like to use it to mean “beloved.” And this book is habibi to me. This novel is set in an Islamic state, but not historical, rather current, but more of a mythical place, and it follows Dodola and Zam, child slaves as they escape ad try to find each other once more. It is basically a love story, but with so much more depth, and what humanity causes,suffering, faith, and culture and its d [...]
Wow! I am speechless at the talent Craig Thompson has. One review called this a masterpiece and I have to agree it truly is.There's a lot of nudity and sexual situations, including prostitution, rape, and castration, so this is a warning for people who are not okay with that. There is also what I would consider mental incest between the two main characters.Although of the two, I think I still love Blankets more (although at the time I believe I gave it four stars), Habibi is epic in proportion: [...]
I thinkthe review from The Guardian really explains my reaction to this book the best. The artwork is beautiful. But the lack of a specific location and time period really weakens the story and characters allowing neither to fully take off nor grow. So instead as I read I kept waiting to fully understand the scope of all that was happening and the reason it was written/drawn as it was only to find nuggets and glimmers without the satisfaction that existed in Blankets' fully developed concept.Tha [...]
#20 for Jugs & Capes!Holy balls, this book is so phenomenal. I put it on my CCLaP best-of-2011 list, and here's what I said there:My hopes for this one were pretty low, as I'd found Blankets to be flaccid and hokey and saccharine and generally pretty boring. Habibi, though, is downright spectacular. The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous, complex and inventive and enthralling. The story is huge and sweeping, a sad tale of two people with insanely awful lives who find each other and save e [...]
Whereas Blankets is sort of sweet and simple and anguished, a story of a summer love and all its complications, religious and philosophical and aesthetic, Habibi takes place over decades, and deals with the relationship between Christianity and Islam, environmental disaster and yes, love. What this arthritic genius had to do to learn and enact Arabic art and language. to delve into deeper aspects of religion, so impressive. Sometimes I felt he was biting off more than he could chew, as I always [...]
Gorgeously drawn, but the story itself is bloated, unfocused and occasionally melodramatic and exploitative.
Habibi has 672 pages and yet I've read it in one sitting. Is there really anything more to add?It was poignant, heartbreaking, horrifying and breathtakingly beautiful at the same time.The story isn't linear but it's relatively easy to follow the jumps in narrative and time. Thompson adds a lot of side stories from The Quran, which were interesting and added to the story and to the message it carries. Here religion plays a vital role, but it is shown as the way of healing and hope, rather than in [...]
Habibi is perhaps the greatest example of beautifully executed trash. It is the Prometheus of graphic novels. Never have I seen such a detailed and intricately presented comic that appears to have been conceived and written over a matter of ten drunken, ethnocentric minutes. It is a delicious Swedish pastry with crumbly, honey drizzled walnuts on top filled with dog-shit. Blacking out the lines of dialogue in this book would help it IMMENSELY.Why? Well, here's why:First off, the setting is a com [...]
Every inch of this was beautiful - the art was perfect - and each character was imperative to the story. I appreciated all 655 pages!
Thompson je već s Dekicama pokazao da je odličan pripovjedač, a ovdje je sam sebe nadmašio.Habibi je priča o odrastanju Dodole i Zama koji pokušavaju naći sreću u okrutnom svijetu ropstva, zlostavljanja i eksploatacije. Thompson je priču začinio mistikom i u nju upleo mitove iz Kurana. Uz šaljive opaske istaknuo je i kako se priče o Noinoj arki, Jobovoj sudbini i Abrahamovoj žrtvi vlastitog sina opisane u Kuranu razlikuju od onih u Bibliji.Priča je to i o tome kako je cijena napret [...]
Read this graphic novel in one day - half of it in the morning and the other half in the afternoon. In essence it's a love story of sorts, with a very heavy religious theme which is a little forced into the story. I wasn't convinced of its role. I didn't find it as spectacular as I had heard. The graphic novel is well drawn and it's a beautiful hardcover book, however the story was meh, too repetitive. It has too much rape and poor treatment of women in it for my taste. So if you are sensitive t [...]
Prvo sam mislila da ostavim Habibi bez rivjua pošto se u strip ni malo ne razumem, ali sam se onda setila da u šta se pa i razumem, sve su samo lični utisci pa evo.Habibi je jedna od najčudnijih stvari na svetu. Toliko je kompleksan da mi uopšte nije jasno odakle je autor krenuo da bi na kraju završio sa ovako jednim delom:Priča stalno ide napred-nazad kroz vreme, sećanja, priče, snove, mitoveObjedinjuje i miri hrišćanstvo i islam, moderno i tradicionalno, crno i belo - ljubavlju. E s [...]
Set in a fictional country in what seems to be the Middle East, a 6 year old girl called Dodola is sold by her poverty-stricken parents to a calligrapher to be his wife. The man is brutally murdered and the girl is stolen and sold into slavery. She saves an infant boy from certain death by claiming him as her own and then later escaping with him to live on an abandoned ship in the middle of the desert. She names him Habibi. The two of them manage to survive for a few years by Dodola prostituting [...]