[GN] Skim – Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki
March 31, 2010 § 12 Comments
This slim graphic novel tells the story of a not-so-slim girl, Kimberly Keiko Cameron (aka Skim), who has some serious issues. Not only is she an Asian growing up in Canada, she’s also interested in wicca, calls herself a witch (or soon to be one anyway), and has a crush on her drama teacher (female). That’s a lot of “other-ness” all bundled up in one person.
What really drew me into the book was Kim’s strained friendship with Lisa, her best friend. I don’t think it was the core of the book, because mostly the story was centralised around Kim and what she was going through (it was written in a “Dear Diary” way), but there were parts where Kim would mention Lisa, and how they weren’t talking anymore, or how they didn’t understand each other, how they seemed to keep secrets from each other, and how they just started to drift apart and change. Friendship, to me, is such a major part of growing up, and ‘losing’ a best friend to change can really be a pain.
The graphics exuded a kind of deep moodiness, and I think it captured the essence of Kim very well. She’s not your chirpy teenager, nor is she the depressed, goth kind of person. She’s just someone who has issues she doesn’t quite know how to face up with, a little lost and introverted.
The story did sidetrack at times, to show us a little more about Kim. It felt a little disjointed for me, and it was difficult to really get into the book. But maybe that’s just how the book is supposed to feel like. Life isn’t something that flows smoothly from point A to point B, and more often than not, this meandering of thoughts tend to be more accentuated in a teenager’s mind. The world is spinning, your own head is spinning, and in the end, you find yourself quite lost.
* Note #2: This is for the LGBT March Mini-Challenge.