Comics Panel: Thompson’s Space Dumplins delivers a stunning all-ages cosmic adventure

Before gaining international acclaim with his very serious graphic novels Blankets and Habibi, Craig Thompson indulged his sillier side by creating cute, strange comic strips for Nickelodeon Magazine, embracing a cartoonishly exaggerated aesthetic that he would move away from over time. His new all-ages graphic novel Space Dumplins (Graphix) is a return to that goofier mode, detailing the cosmic adventure of a girl, Violet, and her two friends as they traverse a galaxy full of floating garbage and whale diarrhea to save Violet’s father. The story builds on the themes of family, spirituality, and environmentalism that have been major driving forces of Thompson’s work, but he does so in a dramatically different context, combining concepts and imagery that already have a proven track record with kids.

Thompson’s artwork incorporates marine influences into a sci-fi design sensibility that fluctuates between trash-filled wasteland and a shiny, technologically advanced utopia …

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