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Artwork is really nice and atmospheric. Simple spooky trees.
The story easily kept me engaged the whole way through. Very often the setting is in the aftermath of events with little details that creep through (ie Kim's broken arm, the parent's divorce, an unfamiliar student's suicide, etc.) which I found pretty organic storytelling-wise. I never felt as if I had too much information dumped on me, rather, I was left wanting more. This, in the end, turned out to be a con for me; I feel I would've appreciated these perceived 'gaps' more if I had more time with these characters. The story does wrap up satisfactorily, but I felt a bit empty by it, like a spectator who was suddenly shut out. If that makes any sense.
I wasn't blown away with the story in SKIM, but it expressed something very genuine about the experience of a teenage girl. It is both unique and universal, the former because it is about a Canadian girl attending a specific private school (the one I have visited for events because my friend was enrolled there) and the latter because it revolves around confusing emotional states and the desperate need to experiment to find one's identity. SKIM is about Kim Cameron, an overweight Wiccan who feels awfully alone in the world when her only friend is self-interested and fairly hateful. When a student commits suicide, the stability in Skim’s life begins to spin, spin, spin. Where the pieces will fall is a bit of a mystery. SKIM will probably speak to a certain kind of teenage girl, but it didn’t strike a chord with me.
Mariko Tamaki was a great speaker at the 2016 New Zealand Festival, where she described this book as her"private school lesbian love diary".
Goth teen Kimberly Keiko Cameron (aka Skim), is an outsider, a wannabe Wiccan, and in love with her female English teacher. When a classmate commits suicide, Skim descends into a depression that no guidance counselor platitude can reach. A lovely coming-of-age story with artwork derived from the best Japanese traditions. Lovely.
terrific story! I love the Tamaki stories and beautiful art.
There's a lot here that people will find familiar. This graphic novel takes the form of a diary as Kim (also called Skim) talks about her life at a girl's high school in the 1990s. When a classmate commits suicide everyone is forced into counseling and then everyone decides Kim is going to be next because of her interest in Wicca. A group of girls rally around the dead boy's ex-girlfriend, who looks less than impressed for the attention, while Kim and her friend Lisa drift in and out of each others' company and Kim falls in love with her English teacher, Ms. Archer.
It's an honest piece of work. Kim isn't above the other girls, she just doesn't see herself as one of them, and she is as quick to make judgement of others as they are to make them of her. Overall a very enjoyable, and slightly nostalgic, read.
All the trauma of teenage life comes to the fore in this critically acclaimed graphic novel. Kim, aka Skim, is a teenage girl destined to be marked as "weird", at least according to her own mind. She is fairly quiet around all, except her one friend, and a kind female teacher whom she falls for. Due to this, and her belief in wicca, many make assumptions about her with their constant talk of how she is quite likely to commit suicide. On the other hand, her thoughts make it clear that she is far from this, thus pointing to the unreliability of stereotyping. She too, is not above being prejudiced, as she often makes comments to herself about those of the popular clique. The suicide of a fellow student, and its subsequent events reveal a completely different side to one of these girls though, and Kim soon finds a true friend in her. For this emotional-filled ride, the artist uses a delicately-inked black and white style with a classical Asian flare. The comic itself acts like Skim's physical diary, as she scratches out words, and changes her thoughts. She reports on her day to day life, family problems, and personal issues in this diary. Through all the alienation, she tries to come to terms with her life, love, and those around her. Despite being fiction, Skim's down to earth realism, and use of Kim as the narrator, gives it the feel of an autobiography.
The best GN I've read this year.
The problem with a really good graphic novel is that it is easy to read through it too quickly. This is true for Skim. The images are good but the story is better and that will make you breeze through it. I plan on checking it out again so I can reread it at a slower pace to savor it.
The ending was decidedly abrupt, but otherwise I adored this graphic novel. Tons of complexity and oozing with teenage angst
An easy read, good illustrations to follow story.
A high school drama, something we grow out of, thank goodness.
Skim is a sensitive and gentle story of a girl's struggle with high-school and budding sexual identity. The illustrations have the delicate brush-work of Japanese caligrophy. Each face has it’s own unique and subtle expression. The writing is intimate and perfectly reveals the heart of character. Together writer and artist dance intimately in an intricate performance; Neither dominates the other and both complimenting the other.
The story itself is a beautifully touching in it’s subtlety and elegance. A must read for those who love expressive stories about humanity, love, loss, identity and growing up.
P.S. Mariko and her cousin Jillian were nominated in four categories in the Eisner Awards 2009 and won Best Book at the 2009 Doug Wright Awards.
nicely illustrated, takes place in Toronto