From ages 10 to 20, Craig Thompson (the author of Blankets) and his little brother Phil, toiled in Wisconsin farms. Weeding and harvesting ginseng—an exotic medicinal herb that fetched huge profits in China—funded Craig’s youthful obsession with comic books. Comics in turn, allowed him to escape his rural, working class trappings.
Now, for the first time in his career, Thompson is working in serial form, in a bimonthly comic book series. 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.