Habibi, Craig Thompson’s long-awaited follow-up to Blankets, will be released by Pantheon on September 20th, 2011. The mammoth 672-page Habibi will be published as a clothbound, gold-stamped hardcover with a cover price of $29.95. Like Blankets, Habibi will be published in black-and-white.
“Habibi” is an Arabic word that means “my beloved.” Thompson’s latest work, which he began after a trip to Morocco, is heavily influenced by Arabic calligraphy and Islamic mythology. Another major influence appears to be the paintings of Paul Gauguin. One panel in particular appears to be a direct homage to Gauguin’s Manao Tupapau. Speaking of the role of Islam in his new work, Thompson said: “I’m playing with Islam in the same way that I was playing with Christianity in Blankets.”
Thompson’s Blankets, which was published in 2003 by Top Shelf, won the 2004 Harvey, Eisner, and Ignatz awards for “Best Graphic Novel.” It has remained a consistent seller and a fixture on ICv2’s year-end “Top Ten Fiction & Reality Lists” (see the most recent, “Top Ten Fiction & Reality—2010”). 
Blanket’s sensitive coming-of-age saga has made it a focal point of several censorship disputes, most notably, a banning in the Marshall, Missouri Public Library that was eventually reversed (see “Missouri Library Reinstates Graphic Novels”).