Man! 580+ pages of graphic novel outlining Thompson’s childhood and first love in a Christian family that borders on abusive and oppressive. Thomson endures sharing a bed with his little brother, inattention from his parents, molester babysitters, and being the butt of everyone’s jokes for being the poor kid at school. He grows into a quiet young man who goes to church camp every Summer, where one year right befgore he graduates, he meets Raina, soon to become his first love and first heartbreak.
Thompson’s autobiographical accounts of these events are sweet and not at all stickily sentimental. He reveals his own failings and worries at the same time as he emerges victorious in at least some of his life’s battles. The account of his young romance is so vivid that it will immediately toss you back into a reverie of your own first loves and losses. The book also deals with other issues like faith, or lack of it, and family, or lack of it. Throughout, the illustrations are rich and compelling while at the same time playing a backseat to the thoughtfully developed plot. One of my favorite reads this year, well worth sticking around for all 500+ pages.