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Carnet de Voyage: A Travel Diary by Craig Thompson

Carnet de Voyage is a graphic novel by Craig Thompson, the author of Blankets and Habibi. It is a personal journal of his travels through Europe and North Africa in 2004, where he explores different cultures, landscapes, and people. He also reflects on his own life, his work, and his relationships.

The book is a mix of sketches, comics, and handwritten notes, capturing the beauty and diversity of the places he visits. He also shares his struggles with loneliness, illness, and self-doubt, as well as his joy and curiosity. Carnet de Voyage is a candid and intimate portrait of a wandering artist, who seeks inspiration and connection in a foreign world.Carnet de Voyage has received critical acclaim from various sources, such as The Guardian, The New York Times, and Goodreads. Reviewers have praised Thompson's skillful and expressive drawings, his honesty and humor, and his ability to capture the emotional highs and lows of solo traveling. They have also noted the book's relevance in the age of smartphones and social media, where travel experiences are often filtered and curated. Carnet de Voyage offers a more authentic and personal glimpse into the world of a curious and restless artist.In several interviews, Thompson has revealed more about the process and the impact of creating Carnet de Voyage. He has described it as a spontaneous and challenging project, that forced him to draw quickly and directly from life, without any editing or revision. He has also admitted that it was a difficult and lonely time for him, as he was dealing with a breakup, a chronic wrist pain, and a culture shock. He has said that he felt vulnerable and exposed by publishing such a personal work, but that he also received a lot of positive feedback and support from readers who related to his experiences. He has also expressed his gratitude and affection for the people he met along the way, some of whom have become lifelong friends.

Carnet de Voyage is not only a travel diary, but also a portrait of an artist in transition. It shows Thompson's evolution as a storyteller, his influences and inspirations, and his struggles and doubts. It also foreshadows some of the themes and motifs that he would later explore in more depth in Habibi, such as Islam, Arabic calligraphy, and water scarcity. Carnet de Voyage is a unique and valuable document of a creative journey, both literal and metaphorical.Habibi is Thompson's most ambitious and acclaimed work to date. It is a graphic novel that tells the epic story of Dodola and Zam, two child slaves who escape their captors and find refuge in an abandoned boat in the desert. They form a bond of love and survival, but are separated by fate and circumstance. Their lives intertwine with the history and culture of Islam, as they encounter various characters and challenges along their journeys. Habibi is a rich and complex work that explores themes such as love, faith, identity, sexuality, violence, and environmentalism.

Thompson spent six years working on Habibi, traveling to Morocco, Turkey, and Jordan for research. He also studied Arabic calligraphy, Islamic art, and religious texts such as the Qur'an and the Bible. He used a meticulous and intricate style of drawing, inspired by Persian miniatures and geometric patterns. He also incorporated elements of magic realism, fantasy, and mythology into his narrative. Habibi has been praised for its stunning visuals, its emotional depth, and its cultural sensitivity. It has also been criticized for its exoticism, its stereotypes, and its depiction of women. aa16f39245


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