Influenced by Arabic calligraphy and Islamic mythology, this long awaited graphic novel is an imaginative filtering of Middle Eastern and Muslim culture through an epic fantasy lens.
Habibi, based on a Middle Eastern fable, tells the story of Dodola, who escapes being sold into slavery and rescues an abandoned baby she names Zam. They live in isolation in an old boat in the desert. As they age their relationship shifts from mother and son, to brother and sister and eventually lovers. In the meantime however Dodola is forced to prostitute herself to desert traders in order to provide for Zam. When he seeks an alternative means of income Dodola is captured by the Sultan and Zam is forced into a quest to try and rescue her. about the environment and the state of the world. Set in the place where Christianity and Islam began, it explores the fundamental connection between these religions, and also the relationship between the first and the third world and the increasingly important battle for the earth's resources.
Craig Thompson's previous graphic novels include Blankets (which won three 2004 Harvey Awards for Best Artist, Best Graphic Album of Original Work, and Best Cartoonist; the Prix de la critique at Angouleme; and two 2004 Eisner Awards for Best Graphic Album and Best Writer/Artist); Goodbye, Chunky Rice; and Carnet de Voyage.