Mariko Tamaki

Mariko Tamaki is a multidisciplinary artist and writer. Tamaki established a reputation based on the text that she wrote for several graphic novels that she created with her cousin Jillian Tamaki. Most of her novels are written for young adults. In recent years, Mariko has been a prolific writer of comic books including issues of She-Hulk and Hulk for Marvel, Supergirl for DC, and Tomb Raider for Dark Horse Books. Tamaki continues to write the text for graphic novels and is also writing the text for a series of illustrated Lumberjanes novels for Amulet Books.

Fiction

Cover Me

Toronto, Ont.: McGilligan Books, 2000.

Publisher’s Synopsis

With purple hair and sequined boots Traci Yamoto stars in a wicked riot-girrl rumble against family expectations and private school poseurs. Craving the protection of a thick skin, she picks up a razor and begins to carve. A slip of the hand lands Traci in psych ward 7, but a tattoo gun, a Goth, and a microphone offer her a way out of the ‘burbs and into her own skin.

Awards and Honours

2000 Pearson Canada Reader’s Choice Award (Nominated)

E

Fiction (Graphic Novel)

Emiko Superstar

Illustrated by Steve Rolston.
New York: DC Comics, 2008.

Awards and Honours

2009 Joe Shuster Awards, Writer (Winner)
2009 Joe Shuster Awards, Dragon Prize: Comics for Kids Award (Finalist)

Fiction/Essays

Fake ID

Toronto: Women’s Press, 2005.
Ryerson Electronic-book collection

Fiction (Graphic Novel ; Young adult)

Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass

Art by Steve Pugh.
Toronto: DC Ink, 2019.

Publisher’s Synopsis (from Penguin Random House Canada website)

With just five dollars and a knapsack to her name, fifteen-year-old Harleen Quinzel is sent to live in Gotham City. She’s not worried, though–she’s battled a lot of hard situations as a kid, and knows her determination and outspokenness will carry her through life in the most dangerous city in the world. And when Gotham’s finest drag queen, Mama, takes her in, it seems like Harley has finally found a place to grow into her most “true true” with new best friend Ivy at Gotham High.

But when Mama’s drag cabaret becomes the next victim in the wave of gentrification that’s taking over the neighborhood, Harley gets mad. She decides to turn her anger into action and is faced with two choices: join activist Ivy, who’s campaigning to make the neighborhood a better place to live, or join her anarchist friend Joker, who plans to take down Gotham one corporation at a time.

Fiction (Graphic Novel ; Young adult)

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me

Illustrated by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell.
Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2019.

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

All Freddy Riley wants is for Laura Dean to stop breaking up with her. The day they got back together was the best one of Freddy’s life, but nothing’s made sense since. Laura Dean is popular, funny and SO CUTE … but she can be really thoughtless, even mean. Their on-again, off-again relationship has Freddy’s head spinning — and Freddy’s friends can’t understand why she keeps going back.

When Freddy consults the services of a local mystic, the mysterious Seek-Her, she isn’t thrilled with the advice she receives. But something’s got to give: Freddy’s heart is breaking in slow motion, and she may be about to lose her very best friend as well as her last shred of self-respect. Fortunately for Freddy, there are new friends, and the insight of advice columnist Anna Vice, to help her through being a teenager in love.

Fiction (Juvenile)

Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power! (Lumberjanes ; 1)

Illustrated by Brooklyn Allen.
New York: Amulet Books, 2017.
“Based on the Lumberjanes comics created by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson & Brooke Allen.”
PZ7 .T1587 L953 2017

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

Welcome to Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. The five scouts of Roanoke cabin—Jo, April, Molly, Mal, and Ripley—love their summers at camp. They get to hang out with their best friends, earn Lumberjane scout badges, annoy their no-nonsense counselor Jen . . . and go on supernatural adventures. That last one? A pretty normal occurrence at Miss Qiunzella’s, where the woods contain endless mysteries.

Today is no exception. When challenge-loving April leads the girls on a hike up the TALLEST mountain they’ve ever seen, things don’t go quite as planned. For one, they didn’t expect to trespass into the lands of the ancient Cloud People, and did anyone happen to read those ominous signs some unknown person posted at the bottom of the mountain? Also, unicorns.

This hilarious, rollicking adventure series brings the beloved Lumberjanes characters into a novel format with brand-new adventures.

Fiction (Juvenile)

Lumberjanes: The Moon Is Up (Lumberjanes ; 2)

Illustrated by Brooklyn Allen.
New York: Amulet Books, 2018.
“Based on the Lumberjanes comics created by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson & Brooke Allen.”
PZ7 .T1587 L952 2018

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

As the camp gears up for the big Galaxy Wars competition, Jo and the gang get some help from an unexpected visitor—a Moon Pirate!
Book Two will focus on Jo, the ingenious inventor of the group who also happens to be trans.

Fiction (Juvenile)

Lumberjanes: The Good Egg (Lumberjanes ; 3)

Illustrated by Brooklyn Allen.
New York: Amulet Books, 2018.
PZ7 .T1587 L95 2018

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

Book three shines the spotlight on Ripley, the smallest, youngest, most animal-loving member of the cabin. When Ripley comes across an abandoned egg, she’s determined to take care of it until the parent comes back. Unfortunately, her plan is quickly foiled by egg poachers, who steal the egg for their own collection.

Fiction (Juvenile)

Lumberjanes: Ghost Cabin (Lumberjanes ; 4)

Illustrated by Brooklyn Allen.
New York: Amulet Books, 2019.
Forthcoming

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

NA.

Saving Montgomery Sole book cover

Fiction

Saving Montgomery Sole

Toronto: Razorbill Canada, 2016.

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

Montgomery Sole is a square peg in a small town, a girl with two moms forced to go to a school full of homophobes and people who don’t even know what irony is. Her saving grace–her two best friends, Thomas and Naoki. Monty’s obsessed with paranormal mysteries like ESP, astrology, superpowers, and the healing powers of frozen yogurt, but when strange things actually start happening to Monty, she realizes that the greatest mystery of all is herself. Thoughtful, funny, and honest, this book will make you want to laugh and cry over a big cup of frozen yogurt with extra toppings and your best friends at your side.

Fiction (Graphic Novel)

Skim

Pictures by Jillian Tamaki.
Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2008.
9th floor PN6733 .T34 S55 2008

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

Depression, love, sexual identity, crushes, manipulative peers–teen life in all its dramatic complexities is explored in this touching, pitch perfect, literary graphic masterpiece.

Awards and Honours

2009 CBA (Canadian Booksellers’ Association) Libris Awards–Book Design of the Year (Winner)
2009 Doug Wright Awards-Best Book (Winner)
2009 Joe Shuster Awards, Writer (Winner)
2008 Governor General’s Literary Awards–Children’s Text (English) (Finalist)
2008 Ignatz Award–Outstanding Graphic Novel (Winner)

This One Summer book cover

This One Summer (Graphic Novel)

Pictures by Jillian Tamaki.
Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2014.
9th floor PN6733 .T34 T45 2014

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

Rose and Windy are summer friends whose families have visited Awago Beach for as long as they can remember. But this year is different, and they soon find themselves tangled in teen love and family crisis. From the creators of Skim comes an investigation into the mysterious world of adults.

Awards and Honours

2014 Governor General’s Literary Award–Children’s Literature, Illustration (Winner)
2015 Caldecott Honor Book (ALSC, Association for Library Service to Children, Division of the American Library Association)
2015 Michael L. Printz Award (Honor Book)(YALSA, Young Adult Library Services Association, Division of the American Library Association)

You Set Me on Fire book cover

Fiction

(You) Set Me on Fire

Toronto, Ont.: Razorbill Canada, 2012.

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

Allison Lee is seventeen and off to college in the fall. So far, she’s been in love once (total catastrophe) and on fire twice (also pretty bad). Both love and fire have left their scars.

Looking a little more burnt chicken and a little less radiant phoenix, Allison takes up residence in Dylan Hall (a.k.a. Dyke Hall) at St. Joseph’s College, where she discovers the true gift of freshman year: the opportunity to reinvent yourself. Miles away from the high school she’s happy to leave behind, her all-female dorm is a strange new world, home to new social circles and challenges. Allison still feels like the odd girl out … until Shar appears. Beautiful and blinding, Shar quickly becomes the sun at the centre of Allison’s universe, drawing her in with dangerous allure.

Drama (Short monologues)

True Lies: The Book of Bad Advice

Toronto, Ont.: Women’s Press, 2002.
Ryerson Electronic-book collection

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

The unsuspecting public is in for a treat in this book as Mariko Tamaki shares humour, sensitivity, love, joy, pain, social commentary, complaints (about everything and everyone and all places, spaces, events and things which irk the author. Mariko Tamaki is a risk taker. Her in-your-face humorous commentary on social life is innovative, clever, intelligent, artistic and sweet. The sweetness comes at the reader in a subliminal way, so that it is upon reflection that the warmth from the heart washes over you.

Genre unknown

Wet Behind the Ears.

Co-authors: Abi Slone and Jana Jinsky.
Toronto, Ont.: Women’s Press, 1999.

Links

Mariko Tamaki personal blog

Publisher Amulet Books (an imprint of H.N. Abrams)

Publisher Groundwood Books

Publisher Women’s Press

Razorbill an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group

Mariko Tamaki on (You) Set Me on Fire, part of CBC Radio One’s The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers,  episode “Mariko Tamaki, Samantha Nutt, Waubgeshig Rice” first broadcast November 12, 2012

Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki on Skim, part of CBC Radio One’s The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers,  episode “Who and What for Jan. 24” first broadcast January 24, 2009