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Carnet De Voyage Paperback – Aug 5 2004

4 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Top Shelf Productions (Aug. 5 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891830600
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891830600
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 13.7 x 18.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #117,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

"They say 'Wherever you go, there you are....' I thought with Morocco, I'd be setting out on some exotic adventure, but it turns out I'm just a simple, quiet fellow." So writes Thompson in this travel sketchbook chronicling two months of wandering through Africa and Europe, sometimes as tourist, sometimes as a famous cartoonist on tour. Rather than a narrative follow-up to the award-winning Blankets, this diary reveals both Thompson's creative strengths and weaknesses. Although more or less spontaneous, the book still shapes the material into something of a narrative, the continuing themes being Thompson's self-conscious love of beauty, his sense of isolation and the gradual physical deterioration of his hands due to arthritis and over-drawing. Thompson is honest enough to confront his own self-absorption (he makes constant references to his own whininess), but this recognition reveals that Blankets' naïveté is more studied than it first appears. Many of the elements that made Blankets so successful are here, not least among them Thompson's incredible, lush line-work and telling detail. Every person he meets is captured with a keen eye and a lively brush, and entries such as one recounting his fascination with Gaudí's architecture in Barcelona, or a day spent with fellow cartoonist Blutch discussing artistic muses, are both thought provoking and touching.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–In 2004, the author, a cartoonist from Oregon, traveled to Europe on a book-signing tour, with a side trip to Morocco. Rather than writing a conventional journal, he kept notes in the form of drawings and cartoons. He shows readers how he was met in France by friends, fans, and publisher representatives, and tells of larking about–finding magic, meaning, and synchronicity–in Paris and the countryside. When he moved on to Morocco, his experience was darker as he struggled to relate to a more alien and less-welcoming culture. There he encountered everything from homesickness to diarrhea to fractured conversations, but in time he saw more of the country and learned how to get around. Back in Europe, he continued his book tour in Geneva and Barcelona, and saw the Alps and the south of France. Along with images of people and places, he shares, with winningly self-deprecating humor, his interior journey of emotional ups and downs. Black-and-white images range in style from realistic sketches to surrealistic riffs to funny cartoons, sometimes working together visually and thematically to create layers of depth and to amplify a point. Combined with telegraphic captions, the art captures to perfection and with a great sense of immediacy what it's like to be young and on one's own on a foreign adventure. By turns lighthearted and profound, Carnet is an illuminating and charming experience that should have broad appeal.–Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I purchased Carnet De Voyage purely on the basis of how much I'd enjoyed Craig Thompson's Blankets. I didn't realize it was a travelogue until it arrived and that initially dampened my enthusiasm for it. Ultimately it was a pleasing read that I read at a more leisurely pace than I would a narrative driven comic. It is nicely illustrated and Thompson's candid self-portrayal keeps it more interesting than most people describing their travels.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm an artist, and this book makes me want to draw everything around me. I adore Craig Thompson, and can't wait for Habibi!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xb5c15678) out of 5 stars 24 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xaac87ad4) out of 5 stars An artist's notebook Aug. 5 2004
By Edward Juan - Published on
Format: Paperback
Before I purchased this book I expected it to be like his previous two graphic novels with an narrative storyline (Goodbye Chunky Rice, Blankets). Instead you get a diary collection of his journey in Europe as an artist. Though in the book he explains the purpose of his trip is to promote Blankets, and he did go through many interviews and photo shoots. But in this trip he brings the reader to a mature side of himself, whereas he shows his impression with other artists in Europe. With his skillful brushworks, Thompson is able to draw out little glimpses of culture and people of his visit. Overall I recommand this book to anyone that is interest in art or already an artist themselves. You'll find drawing in a sketchbook everyday is an illustration of your life, just like what Craig Thompson is able to share in this book.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xaac8e450) out of 5 stars Way more than a side project. April 9 2007
By Pops Gustav - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Craig Thompson's epic 600 page graphic novel, BLANKETS is one of the most beautiful comics I've ever read. I was astounded at the breadth and depth of the book and wondered how someone in his mid twenties could have crafted such a massive achievement so early in his career.

With the publication of CARNET DE VOYAGE, I now understand a little bit more about Thompson's work habits... he is a nonstop drawing machine. But no... machine is wrong... there's nothing mechanical about his work. Art flows out of Thompson's brush pens with the organic fluidity of a true master. He may well be the greatest natural cartoonist of his generation... hell, even a handful of others.

CARNET DE VOYAGE wasn't even supposed to be a book. While traveling through France, Barcelona, the Alps and Morocco last Spring to promote BLANKETS, Thompson's omnipresent sketchbook suddenly became his next project. In his introduction, the typically self-effacing artist dismisses it as "a rather self-indulgent side project."

Yes, there's lots of self-indulgence, but no more than any other writer or artist's work is self indulgent. Smarting from a recent breakup, suffering from crippling rheumatoid arthritis exacerbated by nonstop signings, sketches and portraits of locals (many of whom demand money for the privilege of being models), Thompson's travelogue is filled with the kind of subjective experience that's only interesting to others if it's told well.

And in CARNET DE VOYAGE, it's told beautifully. Mixing his two styles, the cartoony whimsy of GOODBYE, CHUNKY RICE with the more naturalistic impressionism of BLANKETS, Thompson allows us to experience everything he does: The homesickness, the culture shock, the thrill of the new and the comfort of other people. His passion for beauty, be it architectural, arboreal, feline, culinary or (often) feminine is all delineated with an artistic embellishment that's more effective than any photograph could be.

That's the power of comics; They can be (in the right hands) surreal and realistic at the same time. Thompson is as much a master of capturing the empirical world as he is conveying his inner demons (and he's got a lot of `em... this boy is one tortured, sensitive artiste). He may dismiss CARNET DE VOYAGE as "not (his) next book," but it's the richest, most rewarding graphic novel I've read since... well, since BLANKETS.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xaac913cc) out of 5 stars Not bad for a travel diary Aug. 17 2004
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Carnet de Voyage includes an introductory page in which Craig Thompson warns prospective readers that what follows really is a travel diary, not a follow-up to Blankets. If that's all you're expecting, you won't be disappointed. The book is beautifully and sensitively illustrated, and features a few genuinely touching moments. I particularly enjoyed the times when Thompson inserted a little cartoon companion into the narrative to comfort him when he was feeling alone and out of place. His accounts of culture shock in Morocco were also interesting and should open the eyes of anyone with excessively romantic views about the developing world.

Still, the book could have been better. Thompson hints at painful events and family problems at home without elaborating, and he also glosses over the Madrid train bombings in just a couple of pages. The book then ends abruptly when arthritis forces Thompson to cut back on his writing, and I think even he would agree that this aborted work isn't all he hoped it would be. But Carnet de Voyage certainly is still worth reading while you await Thompson's next real book. And you won't regret it if you allow this little travel diary to persuade you to plan a trip to Barcelona yourself.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xaad40624) out of 5 stars Honest travel journal June 16 2005
By A. Lundquist - Published on
Format: Paperback
I liked the honesty of Thompson's travel journal. He does not gloss over the difficult bits of travel-the fatigue, the stomach upsets, loneliness. I also admire how he did not gloss over his own personal faults. The graphics help to immerse the reader in his experiences-sometimes they did feel claustrophobic other times they were more exhuberant. Recommended to anyone interested in travel and anyone interested in the world of comics and graphic novels.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xaab8bcd8) out of 5 stars It is not BLANKETS Jan. 10 2008
By G. MCDONOUGH - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
and it doesn't pretend to be, but I found it very worthwhile. I like CHUNKY RICE and I think BLANKETS is one of the great American novels, graphic or otherwise. I felt I needed a Thompson fix, and hoped this would help while I wait for the Next Book. Thinking it would be bedside reading, a few pages at a time, I read it in one sitting. His voice is as true as ever and his art is wonderful. You will meet many interesting people and suffer through his mishaps with him. It was just what I had hoped it would be, a good solid Craig Thompson fix.