Controversial Cousins: Mariko and Jillian Tamaki

You may have seen recent news that the artist, Jillian Tamaki, is auctioning off original art work from her controversial book in honor of Banned Books Week 2017, as well as to raise charity money for the UNICEF Emergency Fund (see more here). 

I was first introduced to Jillian's art in 2008, when she illustrated a book her cousin, Mariko (also a comic artist and author), had written. I was "hooked" immediately to the somewhat dark tone, yet easy, soft style the combined story and art these Canadian cousins created.

Skim introduced a goth girl named Kimberly (aka "Skim") who is starting to study Wicca and trapped in what she considers "private school hell." When she falls in love with the wrong person - (spoiler alert: a teacher) - her life becomes the "drama" she normally tries to avoid. Skim explores what many consider controversial topics - witchcraft, suicide, homosexuality and more! (It's available as a print or ebook at CPL.)

As they say, "things got real" or rather, exceptionally controversial, when the Tamaki duo paired up again in 2014 ...

This One Summer crept into my heart and mind, revealing the bittersweet confusion that comes with growing older, changing bodies and sexuality. Frank and honest, it was not surprising that This One Summer was challenged, but the fact that it is one of 2016's most challenged books was and still is pretty shocking. What do you think? I'd love to know.

Also, and in the meantime, be certain to check out Mariko and Jillian's works created apart from each other, such as...

Each work has looks at feminism and identity in interesting, compelling ways. Hope you enjoy them!

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