Writer/Artist: Craig Thompson
Colorist: Dave Stewart
This week we're talking about the amazing work of Craig Thompson. I first started talking about my love of his work, when he released GINSENG ROOTS, shortly after I read BLANKETS. Both of which are autobiographical. For this article, I thought I would shine some light on different type of story. With SPACE DUMPLINS, he brought his immense talent to the young adult market with his first bokok for Scholastic’s Graphix imprint.
SPACE DUMPLINS is an great example of the fantastic imagination of Thompson. A story of a plucky young girl and a band of misfit aliens surviving in a sector of space overrun by whale poop. That's just a small glimmer of the fun and excitement that you'll see in this book.
The main character, Violet, often times feels like an outsider. How could you not, being human in a mostly alien world. With the constant danger in Violet’s world, such as attacks from whales that eat through everything. After a whale attack causes her to find a new school she befriends a little chicken name Elliot and reignites a friendship with a lumpkin Zaccaeus. After her dad goes missing, Violet sets out to save him, along with her new friends. Space is anything but safe for this ragtag group of kids, but that doesn't stop them from carrying out their mission.
This story is full of heart, humor and excitement. But at it's core its a story about friendship and family. Violet is a root worth protagonist full of grit and perseverance. This is a book that will keep you engaged from page one, you won't be able to set this one down. Thompson's detailed artwork is on full display here and will have you pouring over every minute detail. Look at those pages of space debris for crying out loud! The world-building of this futuristic, sci-fi adventure is out of this world, literally. Unlike most of Thompson's work this one was in bright and bombastic color. Dave Stewart, one of the best in the biz, took this Thompson's artwork to a level we've never seen before.
This is a must-read for kids, or adults, of all ages. I can't stress enough how great the work of Craig Thompson is. Whether it's his coming of age tales, adult oriented tales, or now all ages, his work will captivate you. He continues to be one of the most celebrated cartoonist of our generation, and with books like this it's no surprise why.