With ASTERIOS POLYP, and Crumb’s GENESIS finally, FINALLY published and in our hands, and Joe Sacco’s FOOTSTEPS IN GAZA galleys making the rounds, it may be that Craig Thompson’s HABIBI is now the Godot of graphic novels. Since the success of BLANKETS in 2003 — one of the best loved (by readers anyway) and influential graphic novels of the decade — Thompson has produced only the travelogue Carnet de Voyage, and has been working on the 600-page novel based on Islamic art and mythology since 2004.

Thompson’s infrequent posts about Habibi on his blog are always a prod to wonder when it will finally come out.

According to this entry, he’s been working on rewriting the ending for the last five months, and above, a peek at the first page he’s drawn since June. Just think of its eventual release as something to look forward to.


  1. Waiting for Godot… Oh yeah, Affleck name drops Vladimir and Estragon in Chasing Amy. Thanks Kevin Smith.

  2. Thompson’s just giving the other cartoonists a chance to get their books out first because once Habibi comes out, they’ll have to clear off all of the shelves to make way.

  3. Habibi will be worth the wait. I was lucky enough to spend a day with Thompson last March and read the progress so far. While it may not be the kind of game-changer Blankets was (we’re now used to massive original graphic novels of scope; they were unfamiliar and exotic in 2003), the virtuosity on display in Habibi will be much admired and imitated. The attractiveness of Thompson’s art, which imbued the mundane subject matter of Blankets with a kind of weighty authority, is here applied to a more fantastic milieu. The result is beautiful, emotionally effecting, and thought provoking on a variety of levels. More significantly, Blankets functioned as a YA memoir, whereas Habibi, while continuing Thompson’s fascination with coming of age subject matter, explores matters of adult maturity, sacrifice, and belief. For readers whose early adolescence was defined by Goodbye, Chunky Rice and high school years summed up by Blankets, Habibi will be a welcome arrival – a missive from an author whose work has grown up alongside them, but privately, and who can still capture the beating of their hearts.