Tag Archives: Jillian Tamaki


The Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival is a one-day festival of cartoon and graphic art featuring artists and publishers displaying and selling publications; lectures and conversations on comics (see below); and associated exhibits and satellite events.

December 4, 12- 9 pm
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church
275 North 8th Street
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY

Downstairs at Our Lady of Mount Carmel,
Saturday, December 4th
All panels moderated by Bill Kartalopoulos unless otherwise indicated


Lynda Barry drew the syndicated weekly comic strip Ernie Pook’s Comeek for more than two decades, and has authored books including CruddyOne Hundred DemonsWhat It Is, and this year’s Picture ThisCharles Burns is the author of acclaimed graphic novel Black Hole and the recent full color book X’ed Out. Join us for this conversation between two extraordinary artists who also share a personal history as former classmates.

In 1980, Françoise Mouly co-founded, with Art Spiegelman, the ground-breaking comics anthology RAW. She is also the Art Editor of The New Yorker and the Editorial Director of the TOON Books line of children’s comics. Sammy Harkham is the editor of the Kramers Ergot series, which has articulated a new aesthetic for comics – and comics anthologies – with each monumental volume. Harkham and Mouly will discuss the pleasures and problems of editing.

In their most conventionally narrative form, comics develop a storyboard-like continuity from panel to panel. But how isolated can a panel be? Renée FrenchJames McShaneJungyeon Roh and Leanne Shapton will discuss the ways in which they construct or suggest narratives by assembling images of objects and moments that retain their individual integrity.


Comic books came into their own with the success of Superman’s 1938 debut. By 1940, Irwin Hasen was working in this new field, drawing early comics featuring Green Lantern and Wildcat before co-creating the comic strip Dondi and, recently, the 2009 graphic novel LoverboyEvan Dorkin and Paul Pope will join moderator Dan Nadel for a special conversation with an artist who has been working in comics for seventy years.

Anders Nilsen’s fine line, radical graphic experimentation, and humane philosophical investigations distinguish him as one of the most notable cartoonists of his generation. This winter sees the conclusion of his series Big Questions, an epic epistemological adventure featuring several cartoon birds (some of them dead) and one disoriented fighter pilot. Anders will discuss his art and career in this spotlight conversation.

Ernie Bushmiller’s iconic comic strip Nancy has been described as “a mini-algebra equation masquerading as a comic strip” drawn by “a moron on an acid trip.” Bill Griffith (Zippy the Pinhead), Mark Newgarden (How To Read Nancy), and Johnny Ryan (Angry Youth Comix) will discuss the unshakeable appeal of Nancy and the essence of gag humor in their comics.

Artwork that is dense with compositional detail, line, pattern and texture encourages a lingering, wandering eye. How does this kind of drawing work in comics? Brian ChippendaleJordan CraneKeith Jones and Mark Alan Stamaty will consider the relationship between densely made drawing and the propulsive concerns of visual narrative.

The Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival is an ongoing project by Desert IslandPictureBox and Bill Kartalopoulos (Parsons Illustration Adjunct Faculty).


Jillian Tamaki gives a MoCCA/Mini-Comics workshop!

tamaki mocca flyerWhat: Mini Mini-Comics Workshop!

When: Saturday, April 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: 8th Floor Illustration Library, 2 W. 13th

Who: Jillian Tamaki and YOU!

Come learn about comic conventions, the comics industry, self-publishing, and constructing your own zines, artbooks, and mini-comics. A great introduction to those considering submitting work to this year’s MoCCA Festival!  Some people think these conventions are only about comic-comics (pictures in panels), but Jillian has amassed a huge collection of books at these types of festivals that run the whole gamut of arty, comic-y, narrative, non-narrative, silkscreen, photocopied, etc. etc. She will also talk about her experiences making her first mini-comic and how she did it SOOO wrong. She’ll talk about how to construct these things in a non-painful way. Plus, she’ll answer any other comics industry related questions!

Don’t miss this truly great opportunity to meet with Jillian and get the benefit of her experiences!

Society of Publication Designers @ FIT Speaker Series


DWI: Do It With Illustration
Under the Influence with Today’s Most Arresting Illustrators

Tuesday, March 3rd
7:00 – 8:30pm
FIT Katie Murphy Amphitheater
27th and 7th Avenue, Building D
Doors open at 6:30pm.
NOTE: A screening of the American Illustration 25th Anniversary Timeline video will be shown at 6:45pm, so come early.

Student Fee: $5 at the door
Professional Fee: $15 in advance or $20 at the door.
Make reservations on the SPD web site: http://www.spd.org/

The 6 presenting illustrators for the panel discussion and Q&A will include:

• Peter Arkle
• Juliette Borda
• Christopher Silas Neal
• Tim O’Brien
• Katherine Streeter
Jillian Tamaki (Parsons Illustration Faculty)

Moderated by Mark Heflin, Director, American Illustration and American Photography

Greetings from the Illustration Department


Happy holidays, a warm winter, and a bright solstice to all of you:  our devoted readers, students, faculty, and alumni.  Thank you for making 2008 a wonderful year.  Fresh updates will resume around January 12th after we take a much-needed rest.  See you in 2009.

[Illustration by Jillian Tamaki, Parsons Adjunct Faculty and all-around wonderful artist.]

Jillian and Mariko Tamaki’s Skim honored!


In addition to being nominated for an Ignatz Award, Skim, a graphic novel written by Mariko Tamaki and her cousin, Parsons Illustration Part-time Faculty member, Jillian Tamaki was named last week as one of the Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2008.  See Skim and the other books recognized in this slideshow.  The book was also reviewed in the Times.  Here’s a snippet:

The black and white pictures by Jillian Tamaki, Mariko’s cousin, create a nuanced, three-dimensional portrait of Skim, conveying a great deal of information often without the help of the text. The book’s most striking use of purely visual communication occurs in a lush and lovely double-page tableau of Skim and Ms. Archer exchanging a kiss in the woods that leaves the reader (and maybe even the participants) wondering who kissed whom. In another sequence, Skim and Ms. Archer sip tea without ever making eye contact, the pictures and minimal text communicating the uncomfortable emotional charge in the room and the two characters’ difficulty in knowing what to say to each other.

Tamaki’s palette often becomes noticeably darker or lighter to signal a change in mood. Various night scenes communicate Skim’s depression, her unhappy moon-face isolated in fields of inky black, streetlights casting long, lonely shadows. In contrast, Tamaki sets the outdoor memorial service for the dead boyfriend on a frozen winter field, the participants drawn in lightly, almost as if they’re ghosts, the snowy backdrop and blank white balloons (shown caught on bare winter trees) conveying absence and emptiness.

Read the rest of the review here and pick up your copy of Skim here.skim frame

Congratulations to Jillian and Mariko on their tremendous accomplishments!

MoCCA Comic Art Festival this weekend!

The program for this year’s MoCCA Art Festival features a rich mix of animators, cartoonists, graphic artists, and writers. Our special guests include Jessica Abel, Rebecca Donner, David Hajdu, David Heatley, Chip Kidd, Alex Robinson, Frank Santoro, and Brian Wood. Saturday’s program opens with author Blake Bell talking about his new Steve Ditko biography, and closes with Dan Nadel in conversation with Chris Forgues (“CF”), whose comics, according to one critic, “exude the ease of someone just now putting all the pieces together to make for consistent great work.” Sunday’s program opens with an illustrated history of radical cartooning, by social movement cartoonist Nick Thorkelson, and closes with a screening of new animated shorts from Scandinavia.

Parsons Illustration associates will be out in force–Tara McPherson, Neil Swaab, Bob Sikoryak, Jillian Tamaki, Brian Wood, and Peter de Seve–so make sure you stop by and see their work!

The MoCCA Art Festival, now in its seventh year, is an annual fundraiser for the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA). Each year the MoCCA Art Festival Award is presented to a creative figure whose work has elevated the cartoon arts. The Award was presented to Jules Feiffer in 2002, and in subsequent years to Art Spiegelman (2003), Roz Chast (2004), Neal Adams (2005), Gahan Wilson (2006), and Alison Bechdel (2007).

This year’s Award recipient, Bill Plympton, is an internationally renowned cartoonist, illustrator, and animator. His cartoons have appeared in major newspapers and magazines, from the Village Voice and the New York Times, to Vogue, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair. He is the author and/or illustrator of numerous books and graphic novels, including Hair High, Mutant Aliens, Tube Strips, and The Sleazy Cartoons of Bill Plympton. He is probably best known for his short and full-length animated films, which include The Tune, I Married a Strange Person, Guard Dog, and Idiots and Angels, which premiered earlier this year. Bill Plympton will be introduced by the animator Signe Baumane.

The 2008 program is being held in tandem with an event at NYU that will take place the day before the Festival officially opens, on Friday, June 6. Sponsored by the New York Institute for the Humanities and MoCCA, “Post-Bang: Comics Ten Minutes After the Big Bang!” features roundtables and presentations on “key trends and debates facing comics in this new, ‘post-bang’ environment.” For more information about this, click here

MoCCA Comic Art Festival
Saturday, June 7th & Sunday, June 8th, 2008
Hours: 11:00am – 6:00pm
Admission is $10 each day / $15 weekend pass (weekend pass only $10 for MoCCA members)
The Puck Building, 293 Lafayette, New York, NY

Programming Schedule
Exhibitor List (Parsons Illustration will be sharing a table with Cat Lauigan at B45!)
Map of Exhibitors
Featured Artist Sketch Table Schedule (featuring Illustration Alum & Faculty Bob Sikoryak on Sunday!)

[MoCCA Art Festival poster art by Parsons Illustration Faculty Tara McPherson and DKC]

Jillian Tamaki releases new book!


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.”

Read the rest of the article here, and learn more about Skim at Jillian’s website (click on “Books”).

Congratulations, Jillian!

Ted McGrath, Jillian Tamaki, & Sam Weber visit Illustration

sam weberted mcgrath jillian tamaki

Ted McGrath, Jillian Tamaki, & Sam Weber
10 a.m. on Wednesday, November 28th, 2007
2 W. 13th, Room 311

George Bates’s $ketchbook Warehouse class will play host to a fantastic array of illustrators this upcoming week. Published by the New York Times Op-Ed page, Texas Monthly, Society of Illustrators, Bust, Paste, SEED and a plethora of others, Ted McGrath, Jillian Tamaki, & Sam Weber will be visiting to show their sketchbooks and discuss their work.

All are welcome to attend this unique & exciting event!
(Illustrations by [in order]: Sam Weber, Ted McGrath, and Jillian Tamaki)