Skimby Mariko Tamaki
"Skim" is Kimberly Keiko Cameron, a not-slim, would-be Wiccan goth who goes to a private girls' school in the early '90s. When her classmate Katie Matthews is dumped by her boyfriend, who then kills himself possibly because he's (maybe) gay the entire school goes into mourning overdrive. It's a weird time to fall in love, but that's what happens to
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Skim is one of my favorite graphic novels at all time. The juxtaposition of Jillian Tamaki's extremely Japanese artistic sensibilities (the characters, especially Skim, resemble people from 19th-century Japanese woodblock prints) with the contemporary story and characters is jarring, but not in a bad way at all. And the storytelling is flawless. It captures the mundanity, confusion, and angst of a lonely teenager's life in a way I haven't seen anyone else manage to do. It's just a really, rally great piece of artwork and storytelling.
Skim is, first and foremost, about sexuality. Without delving too deeply into the plot I would like to say that this is the most sensitive, realistic portrayal of realizing identity I have ever read or seen, and it is, for me, the most relatable. Also the art is amazing--Jillian Tamaki's work reflects traditional Japanese block printing at times, and muromachi period brush painting at others.