100 Women We Love

photo by David Hawe
Mariko Tamaki
“Lesbians are superheroes. Everyone knows this,” claims Mariko Tamaki, the Toronto-based author and performer known for injecting her work with autobiographical, queer outsider characters. This energetic artist won critical accolades for her collections of snarky observational essays, True Lies: The Book of Bad Advice and Fake ID; and for her live storytelling at Toronto’s Buddies in Bad Times Theatre and on the CBC’s DNTO radio series. But it was her breakout graphic novel SKIM, co-created with Jillian Tamaki, which landed her squarely at the center of a resurgent queer arts scene. SKIM tells the story of Kimberly Keiko Cameron, a “not-slim, would-be Wiccan goth” at a private girls’ school who falls in love with her female teacher; the story won a 2008 New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books Award. Tamaki draws inspiration for her work directly from her own life. “[Lesbians] are the grease that keeps the wheels moving in every arts and activist community,” she tells GO. “I am even more awesome at what I do because I know I am part of an incredible, talented, sexy community. Being a lesbian has set the bar.”
Free Life Campaign 10/27