Craig Matthew Thompson (born September 21, 1975) is a graphic novelist best known for his books Good-bye, Chunky Rice (1999), Blankets (2003), Carnet de Voyage (2004) and Habibi (2011). Thompson has received four Harvey Awards, three Eisner Awards, and two Ignatz Awards. In 2007, his cover design for the Menomena album Friend and Foe received a Grammy nomination for Best Recording Package.
Craig Thompson was born in Traverse City, Michigan in 1975. He, his brother Phil and his sister grew up in rural Marathon, Wisconsin, in a fundamentalist Christian family. His father was a plumber, and his mother alternated between working as a stay-at-home mom and a visiting-nurse assistant for the disabled. Media such as films and televisions shows were screened or altogether censored by their parents, and the only music allowed was Christian music. Thompson's only access to the arts were the Sunday funnies and comics, since they were assumed to be for children, to which Thompson attributes his early affinity for the medium. Thompson and his brother were particularly enamored of black and white independent comics in the 1980s, such as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the do-it-yourself ethic that they embodied.
In high school Thompson entertained dreams of becoming either a small-town artist or a film animator. He attended the University of Wisconsin–Marathon County for three semesters, during which he began writing a comic strip for the college newspaper and "just kind of fell in love with [comics], suddenly. It filled all my needs -- I was able to draw cartoons, to tell a story; but I also had total control, and I wasn't just a cog in some machine somewhere." After spending a semester at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, Thompson left his hometown in 1997 and settled in Portland, Oregon...
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