Catalogue


Skim /
Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki.
imprint
Toronto : Groundwood Books, c2008.
description
141 p. : chiefly ill. ; 26 cm.
ISBN
0888997531 (bound) :, 9780888997531 (bound) :
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
added author
imprint
Toronto : Groundwood Books, c2008.
isbn
0888997531 (bound) :
9780888997531 (bound) :
catalogue key
6380546
 
Gift to Victoria University Library. Wilson, Joyce. 2008/07/29.
A Look Inside
Awards
This item was nominated for the following awards:
CLA Young Adult Book Award, CAN, 2009 : Nominated
Governor Generals Literary Awards, CAN, 2008 : Nominated
Libris Awards, CAN, 2009 : Won
Excerpts
Flap Copy
Heartbreakingly funny, moving and vibrantly drawn, Skim is an extraordinary book a smart and sensitive graphic novel of the highest literary and artisitic quality, by and about young women."Skim" is Kimberly Keiko Cameron, a not-slim, would-be Wiccan goth who goes to a private girls' school in Toronto in the early nineties. When her classmate Katie Matthews is dumped by her boyfriend, who then kills himself, the entire school goes into mourning overdrive. As concerned guidance counselors provide lectures on the "cycle of grief." and the popular clique starts a new club (Girls Celebrate Life!) to bolster school spirit, Skim sinks into an ever-deepening depression.And falling in love only makes things worse...Suicide, depression, love, being gay or not, crushes, cliques, and finding a way to be your own fully human self are all explored in this brilliant collaboration by cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki. An edgy, keenly observed and poignant glimpse into the heartache of being young.
First Chapter
Dear Diary,Today Lisa said, "Everyone thinks they are unique." That is not unique!!
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2009-06-08:
A pudgy Asian American out-group teen tries on goth, checks out Wicca, and falls in love with her free-spirited English teacher, Ms. Archer. This portrait of intense high school experiences is crafted with well-tuned dialog and drawn in beautifully expressive pen and ink. A Doug Wright awardee, YALSA top ten winner, and Eisner nominee. With sexual references and swearing; for older teens up.-Martha Cornog, Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2008-02-04:
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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
Review Quotes
A quietly moving graphic novel...sharply witty and incisive...Long, languid lines portray Skim's turmoil and angst with pitch-perfect resonance...Recommend this to fans of Daniel Clowes's Ghost World, who have been waiting for another graphic novel of teen angst and suburban ennui.
...avoids all the cliches of a coming-of-age story...Original in every which way.
Being able to tap into that visceral experience, warts and all, is what makes Skim such an amazing read...A powerful and poignant story that is as perfect a synergy of words and art as you're likely to find in comics, Skim is a true gem.
...brilliantly told and illustrated coming of age tale that will appeal to young readers and adults alike. This book deals with a number of themes that are relevant to teenagers (including suicide, parental separation, youthful alienation, the journey to finding oneself, love, and many others). The story is told in a way that is hilarious and heart-breaking in equal measure.
...intelligent choice...a sensitive and caring portrayal of youth...universal...a complete success...[Jillian's] storytelling is solid...[and] her art is very atmospheric...
Jillian Tamaki's illustrations perfectly match the rough edges and continuous movement of Skim's teenage characters and reveal humour in the agonizing minutiae of high school life...Mariko Tamaki's text blends teen-speak with eloquence and wry one-liners...blending colloquialisms and sharp observations into something profound...
No medium can capture the sense of being plunged into another person's mind like comics can, and Skim is the perfect example, its words and pictures and storytelling so unified in conjuring Kim's world that it comes as a surprise to see it has two creators rather than one...The careful layering of perception, desire, and reality is handled so deftly that the effect is almost subliminal...The Tamakis have done the hardest and most rewarding thing an artist can do: they have captured the texture of real life and made it into something beautiful.
The Tamaki cousins in their first graphic novel take a huge fistful of typical high school story trappings and distill a beautiful and funny time capsule of real feeling...striking black-and-white artwork flows in clear but soft, shaded line work...The visual storytelling is firm and often quite lovely...Skim is a refreshing reminder of the inevitability of change and the importance of looking beneath the surface.
The tricky part with graphic novels is getting the story to be as good as the drawings, and [the Tamakis] have figured out a winning combination for sure. The story is riveting and will bring you right back to 11th grade angst within the first few pages. Jillian Tamaki has an especially expressive, loose style that lends itself beautifully to this slightly morose tale.
[Skim] is bringing kudos to Canadian children's book publisher Groundwood Books for its poignant and funny portrayal of a teenage girl...[Jillian Tamaki's] monochromatic ink drawings with their fluid lines add powerful cinematic storytelling to [Mariko Tamaki's] minimalist text...Jillian's ability to catch the gestures and body language of the private school girls in their plaid skirts and knee socks equals Mariko's well-attuned ear for dialogue. The combination of words and images makes Skim a fully rounded and memorable character struggling with a welter of confused feelings...we feel for her...[Jillian Tamaki] has won several awards. It seems a sure bet that Skim will garner her a few more.
Writer Mariko Tamaki and artist Jillian Tamaki stunningly entwine their acute dialogues and visual riches in brush, soft pencil and grey tones, illuminating this adolescent romance in all its conflicted depths. [Skim is the] most sophisticated and sensitive North American graphic novel debut of the year.
Stunningly drawn, [Skim] brilliantly charts the deep and sometimes desperate conflicts and moods that prevail in teen years...Easily accessible, it gives a sympathetic and realistic view of adolescence.
[Skim uses] high school as a fertile setting for pungent commentary on racial, cultural, and sexual issues...The narrative, mainly in diary form, feels accurate and realistic, drenched in a sense of confusion and nihilism, and the art, influenced by Craig Thompson's Blankets (2003), reflects the spare, gloomy emotional landscape in which Skim exists. This story will appeal to many female comics fans...
...[Skim is a] stunningly emotional graphic novel...an artful jumble that is as true-to-life as it is diffuse...unfussy and immediate...The delicately lined art alternately expands and contradicts the prose to achieve layers of meaning, tone and irony...With honesty and compassion, this innovative narrative communicates a life just beginning, open and full of possibility.
[Skim] is a convincing chronicle of a teenage outsider who has enough sense to want to stay outside...All in all, Skim offers a startlingly clear and painful view into adolescence for those of us who possess it only as a distant memory. It's a story that deepens with successive rereadings. But what will teenagers think? Maybe that they've found a bracingly honest story by a writer who seems to remember exactly what it was like to be 16 and in love for the first time.
...an auspicious graphic novel debut by cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki...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...evocative and wondrous...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.
Skim is a wonderful example of the potential of graphic novels to be both gripping and heartbreaking, proving their ability to act as social commentary on issues such as race, gender and sexuality amidst the callous backdrop of high school. This first collaboration proves that Mariko and Jillian Tamaki undoubtedly have the potential to mould the future of graphic novels, providing young women with thought-provoking and visually pleasing fiction.
...[Skim] manages to avoid the usual cliches...The b/w cirt is fluid and curvy and looks like it came straight out of a sketchbook. The little details are wonderful...Highly recommended for high school graphic novel colelctions, especially those catering to girls.
This beautifully rendered graphic novel portrays the confusion of adolescence and how it can lead to depression and experimentation.
This stunning coming-of-age novel will draw in not only GN buffs, who will appreciate the creative design and dramatic use of both illustration and narration, but also realistic-fiction fans who may not normally gravitate to the format but will find this a sympathetic standout.
...traverse[s] the turbulent landscape of high school with tenderness and a keen eye for the yearning of adolescent girls...From the particularities of slang to the bigger concepts like fear and isolation, Mariko and Jillian Tamaki capture the subtle details that comprise this understated part of life...a world [in] which anyone who has ever been a teenager would be able to relate to at some level...Jillian Tamaki's use of line and shadow is effective in rendering the psychology of characters and the moody spaces they find themselves in...Formally, Skim is interesting for its varied approach to panel-use. Some pages flaunt over 10 similarly sized and shaped panels while others reveal only one (often silent) borderless image. The overall effect reveals impressive artwork and many powerful scenes...Skim is a unique piece, one not to be missed. Highly Recommended. [Skim uses] high school as a fertile setting for pungent commentary on racial, cultural, and sexual issues...The narrative, mainly in diary form, feels accurate and realistic, drenched in a sense of confusion and nihilism, and the art, influenced by Craig Thompson's Blankets (2003), reflects the spare, gloomy emotional landscape in which Skim exists. This story will appeal to many female comics fans...
...rendered delicately...Mariko's writing is assured...Skim's self-searching entries are wrenched off or lit up by the next image...Skim comes into its own, building a teenage girl mood that's struggling observant and shyly heartfelt by turns.
Skim comes out on top...connects in every way...This graphic novel is a winner...a unique creation...Scenes are often hilarious and black-humoured as well as serious...Mariko Tamaki's prose captures an authentic adolescent voice that's dramatic, self-obsessed, funny, earnest, and sometimes glib...Skim is an unforgettable character in the tradition of Holden Caulfield-a clear social commentator on adult and adolescent behaviour whose ironic observations on social hypocrisy ring sharp and true...Illustrator Jillian Tamaki's fine draughtsmanship gives Skim a classic elegance that's missing in many other graphic novels...a powerful sense of mystical eeriness that deepens and enhances the story. Skim is a funny, poignant, memorable drama of navigating adolescence.
A gorgeous, poetic pen line and sharp dialogue bring this angsty story of a disaffected teenage girl to life.
...the expressionistic fluidity of the black and white illustrations serves the purpose of pages of prose, so that the laconic conversation of these girls and Skim's almost equally economical and intermittent diary entries ring true.
The Tamaki cousins in their first graphic novel take a huge fistful of high school story trappings and distill a beautiful and funny time capsule of real feeling... Skim is a refreshing reminder of the inevitability of change and the importance of looking beneath the surface.
This item was reviewed in:
Horn Book Magazine,
Publishers Weekly, February 2008
Booklist, March 2008
Globe & Mail, March 2008
Chicago Tribune, April 2008
School Library Journal, May 2008
Voice of Youth Advocates, June 2008
Horn Book Guide, September 2008
Globe & Mail, December 2008
Library Journal, June 2009
New York Times Full Text Review, October 2009
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
A New York Times Book Review choice as one of the 10 Best Illustrated Children's Books of 2008. Skim is Kimberly Keiko Cameron, a not-slim, would-be Wiccan goth stuck in a private girls' school in Toronto. When a classmate's boyfriend kills himself because he was rumoured to be gay, the school goes into mourning overdrive, each clique trying to find something to hold on to and something to believe in. It's a weird time to fall in love, but that's high school, and that's what happens to Skim when she starts to meet in secret with her neo-hippie English teacher, Ms. Archer. But when Ms. Archer abruptly leaves, Skim struggles to cope with her confusion and isolation, armed with her trusty journal and a desire to shed old friendships while cautiously approaching new ones. Depression, love, sexual identity, crushes, manipulative peers teen life in all its dramatic complexities is explored in this touching, pitch-perfect, literary graphic masterpiece. Cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki collaborate brilliantly in this poignant glimpse into the heartache of being sixteen.

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