Skim Mariko Jillian TamakiSkim – so named because she’s not – is a goth Wiccan at a preppy, all-girls private school. The ex-boyfriend of a classmate kills himself, and suddenly the school is talking about death and suicide all the time, which makes it extra-fun to be the resident goth. And it’s always extra-fun to be queer and have a crush on a teacher.

It’s well-written and the art is good. It did not trigger a rant about graphic novels that don’t use the form, so that’s a definite plus. The territory covered is not particularly unique, though it’s dealt with well; the melodrama of high school is all there, but it’s understated enough that the book isn’t melodramatic. I appreciated the situationalism; you can see how Skim’s friendships occur because these people were thrown together, as many high school friendships happen. I really wish it was more fleshed out; Skim’s pudginess, her status as one of two Asian Americans in her school, are barely touched on at all, and even her sexuality and spirituality are only superficially covered. I was enjoying it, I was intrigued, I wanted to know more— and then it just ended. Abruptly. As this review is about to do.

Skim ~ Mariko Tamaki ~ Jillian Tamaki