This month we readHabibiby Craig Thompson and had a fabulous discussion.
We also had a brag-able spread of goodies. Yay!
I wrote some DISCUSSION QUESTIONS afterwards based on our conversation...
1. For most of the book the reader was led to believe
it was set in the past, but then we learn it is contemporary. What did
you think of this switch and how did it change the story for you?
2. There were many passages where myths, stories, and
passages of the Qur'an were woven into the story. Did you think this
enhanced the story? Did this method of storytelling work for you?
3. Discuss your take on the environmental undertones and the re-occuring role of water.
4. What were some similarities between Habibi's storyline/themes/characters and the ones in his earlier work, Blankets?
5. His layouts are amazing, and are all very different.
Which were your favorite pages visually? How did he use panels and
layouts to direct the pacing? And what about the pages where he left
lots of white space?
6. Did you find the use of Islamic patterns distracting
or appealing? How do you think his drawing style has been influenced by
Islamic calligraphy? Has his style evolved since Blankets?
7. There is a surprising number of dynamic action
scenes in this book. How does it compare with other more typical
superhero action comics?
8. He included words a lot within his images, especially
in the water. Pick an example where you think this was especially
9. As a white male author, how do you think he handled the portrayal of women? And the portrayal of middle eastern characters?
10. What role did words/stories play in Dodola's life? Do you think they were what kept her strong through all her hardship?
11. The relationship between Dodola and Zam was very complex. (And at times confusing!) Discuss your take on it.
12. Would you consider Dodola a prostitute? What was her relationship with sex? What did you think about her first husband?
13. What was your take on Noah (the man in the boat)...was he a fool, crazy, kind, demented, a good guy, etc?
14. Did you feel emotionally attached to the
characters? Like, cringing for them at certain points, feeling suspense
when they were in trouble, rooting for them, etc. What were the parts
that really got a reaction from you?
15. What did you think about Zam as a character? Was he developed enough? What did you think about his castration?
16. In the end, who saved who? The little girl they buy in the market, Zam, Dodola? Or did they even need saving?
And finally, our two favorite questions...
17. There were drawings of breasts on most of the
pages, but no penises. We didn't even get to see what Zam looked like
post-castration. What's the deal with that?!
18. If you had to pick an image from Habibi to get as a tattoo, which would it be?
ROBOT 6 INTERVIEW
Oops, I TOTALLY forgot to share this before the holidays! I was interviewed by Brigid Alverson from Robot 6 (A fun comics/ pop culture news blog) about my work as a scenic painter on Christmas windows.