I spent a lot of this weekend up before dawn with a pair of binoculars banging against the zipper of the embarrassingly large jacket my mom bought for me one Christmas. Birdwatching, yes, the sport of the elderly, really took a toll on me.
So I spent my Sunday evening finally digging into Mariko and Jillian Tamaki's graphic novel, Skim, which has been on my shortlist of "to reads" for some time. Mariko handled text for this goth, Wiccan coming-of-age tale, while her cousin, Jillian, covered the illustration in fine black ink. The story is about Kimberly Keiko Cameron AKA "Skim," called so because she's not.
In a relatively concise number of pages Skim deals with the suicide of a classmate, very much on her periphery, whose death has a ripple effect through the school. In addition, she attends her first coven gathering/AA meeting, falls in love (and makes out with!) her quirky English teacher, and drifts apart from her best friend.
One might think this amount of action would make it seem as if no one story gets rendered completely, but on the contrary, each functions well as a part of the larger story. That is, the story of a thoughtful, serious young woman navigating life's difficulties for the first time.
In addition to deft dialogue and excellent pacing, Jillian Tamaki's illustrations are spot-on, illuminating the story in indispensable ways.
I'm late to this party. The book was published in 2009, but the fourth edition of the paperback just came out in 2015. There's not enough good things to say about this story of an outcast surviving high school at its most treacherous.
Writer Marjorie Liu wastes no time in her new comic series, Monstress.
Within the first issue alone the main character has evolved three times over from slave, to prisoner, and beyond. Not only is the character development rapid and spot-on, but the world building is immediate and visceral. We can thank Liu's collaborator, Tokyo-based Sana Takeda, for her contributions to the ornate, mystical aesthetic of Monstress.
Perhaps most importantly, Liu is taking on heavy issues in the story of the series- identity, racism, the legacy of war and the degradation that comes with drug abuse.
I highly suggest keeping up with Monstress as the story evolves. The first two issues are out now from Image Comics.
Thirty years ago today the first Calvin and Hobbes comic was published. Go read it and relive your childhood.
The Lobo's best season in much too long causes a surge of local pride.
Drunk girls and puppies, a match made in Buzzfeed heaven.
The third article of a four part investigative story on the examination of Governor Martinez' campaign spending.
Previous generations have screwed the current one. Let's try and break the cycle.
Balance out those avocados with some spicy chile. Capsaicin "appears to prevent weight gain in mice that are fed a high-fat diet."
The younger Bush can't escape the legacy of his older, poodle-painting brother.
Are insurance companies rewriting Hurricane Sandy damage reports to save money?
Avail yourself of R. Crumb's regimen for staying sane.
You got problems? These comics have PROBLEMS.
New Mexico's antiquated liquor sales restrictions may loosen up some more.
Would eliminating cheap booze reduce the incidence of DWI?
TLC Driving School finally (not really) explains why they closed without notice.
Looks as though parts of the missing Air Asia plane and some bodies of passengers have been recovered.
A toddler shot and killed a woman in a Walmart. The questions this raises about America and gun safety would seem too large to ignore–but I bet we'll have no problem ignoring them anyway.
If you aren't familiar with Hip Hop Family Tree Comics, start with this week's Boing Boing installment, then gorge on archives or buy a copy. Ed Piskor's comic has become something I greatly anticipate every week.
Picture this: Back in the day, Alibi produced an annual comic-centric issue. It featured columns illustrated by many of the talented cartoonists with which we’ve worked. This was labor-intensive, time-consuming and really hard to do on a deadline. The result, however,was some of our favorite copy.
Close one in Iowa last night.
Is it now OK for presidential candidates to cry?
New interchange design for I-25/US 550 unveiled.
Teen run over in Rio Rancho Hastings parking lot.
How much money does Sesame Street make?
Bandai Entertainment, one of the major companies involved in bringing anime to America is closing its doors.
Hybrid sharks found off the coast of Australia.
Facebook hands out White Hat debit cards to friendly hackers.
Should smokers who roll their own have to pay the full cigarette tax?
The only known naturally occurring quasicrystal is actually part of a meteorite.
Top 10 worst women of 2011.
Yeti crab is one of the new creatures discovered near Antarctic hot springs.
George Leutz's third attempt at a Q*Bert world record fails.
Dennis Rodman is starting a topless basketball team.
Hey, what's under that woman's dress?
Snoop stops smoking long enough to help a lady win a car on The Price Is Right.
Trailer for Steven Van Zandt's new Netflix-exclusive series Lilyhammer.
The 11 best comics of 2011 were …
What's worse than bees? How about zombie bees!
These Christian kids just fixed your favorite song.
Welcome to The Obliteration Room.
Year-long exposure of the Toronto skyline is pretty sweet.
R.I.P. British cartoonist Ronald Searle.