Category Archives: Graphic Novels

Skim by Mariko & Jillian Tamaki

Winner of the 2008 Ignatz Award for Best Graphic Novel, and appearing on the New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book List, Skim is being published by Walker Books in the UK.

Skim The story, told in the form of a diary and comic strip is seen from the perspective of Kimberly Keiko “Skim” Cameron, an aspiring Wiccan and goth who is coping with a broken arm and separated parents when the suicide of (a possibly gay) ex boyfriend of a classmate throws hers and everyones’ lives into turmoil.

Having to deal with a guidance counselor who is concerned about her state of mind (goths being prone to self-harm and suicide) and the antagonism of the girls in the Celebrate Life club; she also has to cope with the growing realisation that she is falling in love with her Englsih teacher Mrs Archer and the fact that her Wiccan circle also serves as a branch of the local AA.

Skim is a brilliantly told and illustrated coming of age tale that will appeal to young readers and adults alike. This book deals with a number of themes that are relevant to teenagers (including suicide, parental separation, youthful alienation, the journey to finding oneself, love and many others) the story is told in a way that is hilarious and heart-breaking in equal measure. Skim is a likable (if sarcastic) protagonist who draws you in and makes you feel what she is feeling and at the end leaves you wanting to know what happens next.

It has been described by Paul Gravett as one of the best comics of 2008 and is truly deserving of that accolade!

Skim is due out in May and is highly recommended for all Graphic Novel collections!

Dimensional Manga

Dimensional Manga is a publishing company registered under the company name Fifth Dimension Limited. It specialises in producing manga (comic format) graphic novels. Its main titles include Demon Prince: Children of Gaia scheduled release February 2008. Titles to follow in the future include Origins: Energy Pattern Disruption, Discoveries: Fifth Dimensional LayerShift, Ghost Battle: Imprisoned by Progression, Incomplete: Detached, Hero Complex, Winning Tactics F.C and Monsters& Samurais.

Dimensional Manga believes in providing fans with a top quality experience through stunning storylines captured in amazing manga graphic novels. Dimensional Manga’s ultimate aim is to push the barriers within the comic books arena and introduce never before seen concepts and content encapsulated in a perfect balance of action, comedy and excitement guaranteed to amaze.

Dimensional Manga was founded by Dil. He had been intrigued by the comic format especially manga for over 10 years and was captivated by this art form since. This art style inspired him to begin writing his own stories and creating original character designs. In 2006 Dimensional Manga was established. The aim of this was to promote manga and the comic format in the west and to release an original unique story that would entertain the masses. To do this Dimensional Manga needed to contract professional comic artists from all over the world inlcuding Canada, Malaysia, Philipines and UK. Manga and the comic format is a unique way to express ideas. Dil prefers this medium over conventional books/novels because of the combination of visuals and written text. As a result Dil was inspired by the comic format resulting in his decision to adopt this this style for his stories.

Dil is responsible for writing the story, the script, co-ordinating the story board and instructing the artists on how to create each frame. The goal was to ‘create’, not borrow, change or visually alter established concepts, but to make a fresh start. His ultimate aim is to show that there are always new possibilities still available, no matter what achievements have been accomplished. And his hope is that this message will inspire others to do the same.

The week that was

I received two interesting e-mails this past week (more than two actually – but these were the only two that will be of interest to Librarians and blog readers – hopefully) – the first was about a library activity called ‘Library Trolley Dash’ it will be run with a group of young offenders. It sounds really cool (I can never rember if one is still allowed to use that word as it amy be uncool) and I can’t wait to hear how it went. The how-to follows below:

– Library trolley dash –

Find as many books as you can from this list.

Write the title and Dewey number underneath:

A true story of a sports person’s life written by a biographer

An award-winning story

A book you read at primary school or at home

A guide on a sport of your choice

A 2006 Dance CD

A DVD you would recommend

A guide to speaking a European language

An autobiography of a famous person of your choice


The group will be divided into two teams. The winner will have the most books and Dewey numbers on their sheet and will receive a small prize.

The second e-mail concerned the creation of a new discussion list that has been created for the discussion of Graphic Novels in UK Libraries – it is based upon the GNLIB list in the USA but will have a UK bias.

To join the list go to: GNLIBUK – it will be an invaluable resource as so much of what is available has an American bias, it would be good to get an idea of the state of GN reading in UK Libraries.