Jillian Tamaki (Illustration Adjunct Faculty) has illustrated a new book called, Skim. Here’s the official synopsis:
Kimberly Keiko Cameron, a not-slim, would-be Wiccan goth who goes to a private girls’ school. When her classmate Katie Matthews is dumped by her boyfriend, who then kills himself because he was (maybe) gay, the entire school goes into mourning overdrive. It’s a weird time to fall in love, but that’s what happens to Skim when she starts meeting secretly with her neo-hippie English teacher, Ms. Archer. When Ms. Archer abruptly leaves the school, Skim has to cope with her confusion and isolation. Her best friend, Lisa, tries to pull her into “real” life by setting up a hilarious double-date for the school’s semi formal, and Skim finds an unexpected ally in Katie.
Skim, which was a collaboration between Jillian her cousin Mariko Tamaki, was written up in Publisher’s Weekly earlier this month. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
The Tamakis, although cousins, did not know each other well before beginning the project. However, the collaboration process proved to be remarkably smooth, especially considering neither had worked on a comic before. Jillian noted, “It was a cocreation, in the purest sense of the world.” Mariko, who is a performer as well as an essayist and novelist living in Toronto, sent to Jillian, in Brooklyn, scripts consisting of narration and dialogue, but little direction as to what should happen on the page. Jillian had a free hand to illustrate the story as she saw fit. “My job was to make this a visually beautiful object,” she said.
Both author and artist strove to create a high school story that moved beyond the stereotypes and melodrama that typically make up the genre. Mariko explained, “I tried to get the dialogue as close to what I remember teenagers sounding like,” adding that she trusted Jillian to create “teenage bodies that looked like teenage bodies.” The two have tried to create a work of literary depth that also offers hints about even minor characters’ lives beyond the central story line of Skim. Mariko stresses that ultimately the book is about “the instability of relationships in high school—the slow complicated way friendships break up and change.”