I am absolutely in love with graphic novels at the moment, especially this graphic diary. I read ‘Carnet De Voyage’ a little bit out of chronology as I haven’t yet read ‘Blankets’ and I had never seen any other work by Craig Thompson prior to this travel diaries. I think I enjoy auto-biographical graphic novels and standard novels in particular because of the pattern of honesty and transparency running through them. In the diaries and stories that I write about on here eg. The Diary of a Young Girl, I am Malala, Persepolis and now Carnet de Voyage- they talk about themselves and their journey in the most humble and open way.
They do not represent themselves as heroic, they present their flaws and in Marjane and Craig’s case they show themselves at their absolute worst in terms of attitude to others and mental health which could possibly make them less admirable, but that is the point, it shows that they’re human and honest. I find the telling of a biographical story that is as truthful as possible, that is written and presented in such a brilliant way that it feels fictional – and I would say that they do this very effectively, Craig Thompson’s ‘Carnet De Voyage’ is much more informal and doesn’t really have a structure, but it is a joy to read all the same.
Anyway, to actually talk about ‘Carnet De Voyage’ alone, I love the pace of the diary, it is eccentric, it is slow, fast, depressing, shocking, happy and at times, actually quite often, confusing. Because it is an immediate display of thoughts and they aren’t the most tidy and comprehensive notions are they? I really love the way that Craig’s drawing changes with his mood and physical wellness: If he is having an anxious and depressive episode his entries will be more egoistic and chaotic, he shows that he has crippling arthritis in his hands and being a cartoonist and dependent on his love for drawing is devastating and some drawings are a visual representation of that and it is shocking.
This graphic diary has made me want to document everyday or my travels in drawings. I believe that i am an ‘OK’ drawer, not at all good or special, but I can draw. But I know I’d be disappointed in my diary as it pales in comparison to cartoonist such as Thompson. So I am thinking of maybe taking a lot more photos or creating a scrapbook of my days and journey. I see it as a motivation to do more with your time and make the most of what is around you.
So maybe I’ll try drawing? Take photos or scrapbook. Or, maybe just your traditional written diary.