Published on August 4th, 2012 | by Corey St Jean1
“There is no Good-bye, Chunky Rice.”
Good-bye, Chunky Rice, by Craig Thompson, is for sure one of my favorite books. Ever. Period. And Craig Thompson’s Blankets is another of my all-time favorite graphic novels, so you know this guy is at least a little good at what he does.
Good-bye, Chunky Rice is about a turtle, named Chunky Rice, who’s trying to find his place in the world. He’s lived in a harbor town all his life, and it’s never really felt right, so Chunky decides to go to the Kahootney Islands where he hopes to start a new life. He boards a ferry to take him across the sea, but he has to leave everything behind, including his girlfriend, Dandel (a cute little mouse) and his best friend Solomon.
Each character gets their own story arc in which they live out the days after Chunky’s departure, and each story arc is beautiful in its own way. Whether it’s Chunky being conned by the ship’s captain (who just happens to be Solomon’s brother), Dandel “writing” messages in bottles and throwing them out to sea hoping they find Chunky, or Solomon telling stories about his rough childhood while being completely bummed that he lost both his best friend and his pet bird in the same week, each path of the story is amazing. And each path ultimately leads to the conclusion, “There is no good-bye…” Everything circles back one way or another.
You know you want to.