Thursday, April 9, 2009
Skim by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki is a beautifully illustrated graphic novel available at New Milford Public Library. It made two Top 10 lists put out by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). It made the Best Books for Young Adults and Great Graphic Novels for Teens lists.
The book also received media attention late last year when the writer, Mariko, was nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award, but Jillian, the illustrator, was overlooked. Legendary graphic novelists Seth, Chester Brown and several other notable writers/illustrators published an open letter to the GG’s jury to properly acknowledge both contributors for the nomination.
“This auspicious graphic novel debut by cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki tells the story of “Skim,” aka Kimberly Keiko Cameron, a goth girl in an all-girls school in Toronto, circa the early ’90s. Skim is an articulate, angsty teenager, the classic outsider yearning for some form of acceptance. She begins a fanciful romance with her English teacher, Ms. Archer, while nursing her best friend through a period of mourning. The particulars of the story may not be its strong suit, though. It’s Jillian’s artwork that sets it apart from the coming-of-age pack. Jillian has a swooping, gorgeous pen line-expressive, vibrant and precise all at once. Her renderings of Skim and her friends, Skim alone or just the teenage environment in which the story is steeped are evocative and wondrous. Like Craig Thompson’s Blankets, the inky art lifts the story into a more poetic, elegiac realm. It complements Mariko’s fine ear for dialogue and the incidentals and events of adolescent life. Skim is an unusually strong graphic novel-rich in visuals and observations, and rewarding of repeated readings. (Feb.) ”
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Posted by Ms. V at 8:02 AM