Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pause a Moment: Skim

Experiencing some sort of 90s Revival over here. Heard Smashing Pumpkins' 1979 on the radio. Heard H-Town's Knockin' da Boots. Found a Daria commemorative book at the thrift store. Dug out a 90s slang lesson. I guess this was setting up the backdrop for what I was planning on reading.

Which was Skim.
Words by Mariko Tamaki
Pictures by Jillian Tamaki

Kim 'Skim' Keiko Cameron, an awkward high school sophomore and her classmates come to grips with the suicide of a peer's boyfriend. It's set in 1993.

After I finished reading it, I kept opening the book to look at the drawings. Each frame was setup like a snapshot of Skim and her environment. Not posed pictures, but fluid, organic stills. Jillian Tamaki's excellent use of negative space captures feelings of isolation, loneliness, and misunderstandings (empty spaces can say a ton).

The placement of Mariko Tamaki's words aid in the storytelling. Short sentences are sometimes placed in a large see of white space. Or, words are cleverly spaced to show uncertainty.

This graphic novel evokes the feelings of confusion and rebellion and particularly death in the 90s. Deaths in pop culture that really shook up my generation (Kurt Cobain, Tupac, Notorious B.I.G.).

I really do recommend giving it a look.

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