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Good-bye, Chunky Rice

Good-bye, Chunky Rice

Words by Craig Thompson - Art by Craig Thompson - Published by Pantheon Books - First published 1999
Good-bye, Chunky Rice

Craig Thompson is one of a handful of comics creators around at the moment who are making graphic novels essential, rather than merely good. Good-bye, Chunky Rice, his debut on the comics scene, is a fine example of what makes his work so compulsive.

Good-bye, Chunky Rice

A casual glance could pass it off as children's story - Chunky Rice is a cute talking tortoise, leaving equally cute mouse friend Dandel behind when he's struck with wanderlust. He takes passage on a small ship with an odd collection of shipmates, while Dandel consoles herself by collecting empty bottle to write messages in before casting them into the sea.

But while the premise is simple, the emotion and execution is sophisticated. Feelings of loss and longing impregnate the book, but Chunky Rice, an animal with his home on his back, knows that he can do nothing but keep on moving, no matter how attached he's become to Dandel. The sub-plots are also tinged with sadness - Thompson can pluck the toughest of heart strings and produce beautiful music.

Good-bye, Chunky Rice is a beautiful book that can't fail to evoke emotion. Read it whether you're into comics or not - it's a work of art that would struggle to exist in any other medium and is a stunning example of how a master of his form can take a simple premise and craft it to perfection.

If you like this graphic novel, why not try...
Why Are You Doing This?
Story:5 stars
Art:5 stars
Overall:5 stars
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