Tag Archives: skim

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!

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!