Craig Thompson, born in Michigan, America in 1975 is an award winning graphic novelist and illustrator. He has won two Eisner awards and two Ignatz awards, and is probably most famous for his work on the graphic novel Blankets, which I have only partially read. However I have read his illustrated travel diary Carnet de Voyage, which was quite impressive. The sheer amount of visual information he was able to capture in the book was outstanding, plus it had a good sense of humor and an honesty that I felt familiar with (being a traveller in a strange land myself). Technically though his brush work, specifically his use of br scumbling ush is what really caught my attention with his work, oh and he is also quite meticulous. His blog is here.