'Habibi' Creator to Release First Periodical Comic Series in 2019

Craig Thompson's 'Ginseng Roots' will run bi-monthly from Uncivilized Books.
Craig Thompson/Uncivilized

Award-winning cartoonist Craig Thompson — once described as “the Charles Dickens of comics” — has announced his first-ever serialized project, whic is set to debut in 2019 from Minnesota-based independent press Uncivilized Books.

The bi-monthly Ginseng Roots will see the creator of the critically acclaimed Blankets and Habibi mix autobiography and reportage in reflecting on the history of the medicinal herb of the title.

“For a decade of our childhood, Phil and I toiled in Wisconsin farms,” Thompson wrote on his website, referencing his brother. “Weeding and harvesting ginseng — an exotic medicinal herb that fetched huge profits in China — funded our youthful obsession with comic books. Comics in turn, allowed us to escape our rural, working class trappings. Part memoir, part travelogue, part essay — all comic book — Ginseng Roots explores class divide, agriculture, holistic healing, the 300-year long trade relationship between China and North America, childhood labor, and the bond between two brothers.”

Outside of the 2015 children’s title Space Dumplins, Thompson has been quiet since the 2011 release of Habibi, the epic romance that won him the 2012 Eisner Award for best writer/artist. It wasn’t the first Eisner win for Thompson; his 2003 book Blankets also earned him the best writer/artist award, as well as the best graphic album award, in 2004.

Ginseng Roots is set to launch in July as the second periodical from the publisher. The first, Gabrielle Bell’s My Dog Ivy, is scheduled to bow in March.