Friday, May 1, 2009

Skim

Cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki tell the story of Kimberly Keiko Cameron, or Skim, a goth girl in an all-girls school in Toronto, circa the early '90s. Skim is pudgy teenager, the classic outsider yearning for some form of acceptance. She begins a brief romance with her English teacher, Ms. Archer, before her teacher leaves the school unexpectedly. She also is helping her best friend through a period of mourning. The dialogue is realistic, but not profound. However, Jillian's artwork sets it apart from other graphic novels. Jillian has a swooping, gorgeous pen line-expressive, vibrant and precise all at once.

This story will appeal to many female comics fans, though readers may, in the end, be slightly turned off by a resolution that awkwardly introduces some odd sunlight into the otherwise dark world. I was a bit taken aback with the end because it didn't compliment the tone of the rest of the book. Perhaps you'll feel differently. This is for older girls in Grades 11-12, but I think girls as young as 8th grade would still enjoy this.


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