The always-excellent St. Murse recently loaned me two graphic novels by Craig Thompson. I figured I would read them in chronological order, which put the slim volume Good-bye, Chunky Rice (1999) in my hands.
I'm kind of a dilettante about it, but I really enjoy reading graphic novels when they find their way to me. Rarely, however, do I find that they really move me in the way that a novel moves me. Part of that is probably because I read them too fast, but I slowed down and took my time with Good-bye, Chunky Rice -- actually I read the whole thing twice -- and every page got right to me, half the time I couldn't stop giggling, and twice it made me cry.
This is the story of Chunky Rice, a turtle who decides he needs to leave his hometown, and his best lady friend, a sweet deer mouse, for unknown somethings far away. His roommate at a boarding house, gets him passage on his brother's boat. Chunky, the captain, a pair of Siamese twins, and a busty cook set off on their ocean voyage.
Thompson manages to make a book about a turtle, a mouse, abandonment, disappointment, sorrow, and goodbyes into a funny, enjoyable, and emotionally moving story that feels filled with characters from the reader's own life.
I can't wait to read Blankets...