The latest issue of Craig Thompson's amazing new, ongoing series is here. You won't be surprised to learn that it looks great. Check back for more deatils in a bit... if you need to. We didn't want to wait any longer before letting you know it's now abvailable.
We also received a restock of the first three issues, so anyone who hasn't got around to giving this a try is now good to go!
WIth the third issue of Ginseng Roots, Craig Thompson takes readers to China for a fascinating – and beautifully drawn – look at the history, myth and legends surrounding ginseng, and then loops back to connect this to ginseng's role in the economy of central Wisconsin, where Thompson grew up and where his parents still live, and begins to show how the two are linked; including a bit of comparitive culture comics along the way. Another excellent issue!
Fifteen years after completing Blankets and deciding, in youthful rebellion against the bite-sized, stretched out serialization of comics, to unleash it in its entirety in what was up to that point the largest/longest, all-new, previously unpublished/unserialized, single volume work of comics in the history of (American, at least) comics*, and then following that with the even lengthier, and also unserialized, Habibi, Thompson has done a 180° and is now returning to the standard 32-page comic book format in which he first discovered comics in his childhood – the childhood that is revisited in most of the 32 pages in this issue – for a series of what is expected to be 12 issues, but might, it is hinted at in Thompson's introductory text, end up being more.
Beautifully drawn, and sharply printed in black and white and red on high quality, heavyweight newsprint, readers can look forward to Craig Thompson integrating explorations of Chinese calligraphic traditions in a manner akin to – but definitely different from – his weaving in of Arabic calligraphy and the geometirc patterns of Islamic art into the fabric of Habibi. While most Americans (rightly) associate Ginseng with China, many are unaware that America has been exporting ginseng to China since 1784 – not long after declaring independence from England – and that the ginseng grown in Marathon, Wisconsin which is at the center of this story, is highly prized in China for its unique flavor. It's safe to say that there will be plenty to look forward to in this series, and a lot of time to look forward through, as it will likely be three years or more before it's done.
*(Had anyone anywhere ever before dropped a close to 600 page work of comics – none of which had previously appeared anywhere – in a single go? If anyone knows of a prior example of this magnitude, please let us know.)
29 more pages of finely rendered, duo-tone comics Americana by Craig Thompson, plus 2 more pages by his brother, Phil – and a letters page! Growing up in the rural mid-west is artfully connected to the the larger world in this entertaining and educational comic book series, scheduled to run 12 issues. Recommended!