Dual Spotlight: Blankets and Sailor Twain

Every once in awhile, there comes along a graphic novel that grabs your attention and refuses to let go. I was lucky enough to read two of those back to back this past week.

    Blankets is very much what the title suggests.  A handmade quilt. A thick cover of snow. It’s a soft and comfortable story that takes you on an emotional journey through the eyes of a young man coming of age.

Meet Craig: a teenager with a passion for art who is raised in a very Christian environment. At Bible Camp one summer, Craig meets Raina, a kindred spirit who succeeds in bringing him out of his shell a bit. This is a story of falling in love for the first time that succeeds where many others fail: it’s honest.  Craig Thompson has a rare gift for storytelling. He makes it seem as if he’s speaking directly to you.

This book is a perfect blend of personal narrative and visual storytelling with beautiful, expressive black and white art. Highly recommended for  both males and females, as well as new readers.


   Sailor Twain is the opposite of Blankets in that it’s not quite what the title would suggest. This is not a biography of Mark Twain. This is a story about a man falling in love…with a mermaid.

Aboard a steamboat on the Hudson, there are two men: Sailor Twain (a married man with a love for the water) and Lafayette (a shipowner with a love for women). Twain’s life changes when he rescues an injured mermaid from a watery death and hides her in his quarters on-board. But where did she come from? How was she hurt? Perhaps this new book that Lafayette’s talking about will answer his questions. What happens when he’s not the only one asking questions?

Mark Siegel has created a sexy, mysterious trip along the Hudson with his emotional pencil illustrations and perfectly timed narration.