9 Reasons I Adore Jillian Tamaki and You Should Too

This post originally appeared on Panels, which is now Book Riot Comics

Kate Beaton, comic creator extraordinaire responsible for Hark! A Vagrant, calls Jillian Tamaki “King Midas.” Kate Beaton does not lie. I’ve loved everything Jillian Tamaki has written or illustrated from Skim to This One Summer to SuperMutant Magic Academy to her illustrations for book covers to her freelance work and on. Here are nine reasons you should love her too.

1. She can draw anything from a stunning, lushly detailed landscape…

This One Summer landscape

… to a little girl rocking out with so much movement it jumps off the page…

This One Summer Windy dancing

… to a quick, pared-down sketch that still communicates just as much feeling. (Also, I totally ship Marsha and Wendy.)

Jillian Tamaki SuperMutant Magic Academy

2. She and her cousin Mariko Tamaki co-create characters who feel real and reflect actual people with different sexualities and body types, like Skim, a “not-slim” lesbian teenager who’s trying to figure herself out and who I related to so much.

Jillian Tamaki Skim

3. She created one of my favorite characters, Frances from SuperMutant Magic Academy, who fights back against the male gaze

Jillian Tamaki SuperMutant Magic Academy

… and makes feminist statements through performance art.

Jillian Tamaki SuperMutant Magic Academy

4. She defends all-around appreciation of asses.

Jillian Tamaki Asses

5. Her attention to detail can make you time travel back to your childhood and your messy bedroom…

This One Summer bedroom detail

… and your angsty teenage years, mutant or not.

Jillian Tamaki SuperMutant Magic Academy

6. She has illustrated the covers for some of the most beautiful books you’ve ever seen, from Black Beauty

Jillian Tamaki Black Beauty

This series has French flaps that are illustrated too.

This series has French flaps that are illustrated too.

And the inside of the cover looks like the back of a piece of embroidery!

And the inside of the cover looks like the back of a piece of embroidery!

… to The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden front cover

The Secret Garden back cover

THOSE FRENCH FLAPS

THOSE FRENCH FLAPS

THAT INSIDE DETAIL

THAT INSIDE DETAIL

… to Emma

Jillian Tamaki Emma

Jillian Tamaki Emma

Seriously. French flaps.

Seriously. French flaps.

Still swooning at that level of detail.

Still swooning at that level of detail.

… to Les Miserables

Jillian Tamaki Les Miserables

… to Obasan

Jillian Tamaki Obasan

… to Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Seas

Jillian Tamaki Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Seas

THOSE ENDPAPERS

THOSE ENDPAPERS

AND it has illustrations by her inside.

AND it has illustrations by her inside.

… and Goblin Market.

Jillian Tamaki Goblin Market

Jillian Tamaki Goblin Market illustration

Jillian Tamaki Goblin Market illustration

7. She understands the importance of a quest for that one special food.

Jillian Tamaki Buttertart Map

8. Her illustrations for freelance clients, like these portraits for the New York Times’ By the Book series, have the most beautiful use of colors…

Jillian Tamaki By the Book

… and are a moving addition to articles, like in this personal essay about trichotillomania.

Jillian Tamaki Trichotillomania

9. Plus she was really nice to me even though I was super awkward to her when I met her at TCAF.

Jillian Tamaki signature

A gift from us to you! Get free mismatched library socks with any purchase in the Book Riot Store while supplies last. Treat yourself (and your favorite elf). br_mismatched_rc
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