Mariko Tamaki
Writer, Artist, Graphic Novelist

Mariko Tamaki is the author of the YA novel Saving Montgomery Sole and the co-creator of award winning comics This One Summer and Skim (with Jillian Tamaki), and Emiko Superstar (Steve Rolston). In 2015, This One Summer received Printz and Caldecott Honors, the Eisner for Best Graphic Album–New, and Canada’s Governor General’s award. Mariko maintains a solid fascination with the complex process by which teenagers become, or try to become, grown ups.


She has also written for BOOM! Studios, Marvel, and DC Comics, working with She-Hulk and Supergirl.


Mariko Tamaki began her career as a playwright and performance artist in Toronto, Ontario, working with fat activists Pretty, Porky and Pissed Off and performing and writing plays for Buddies in Bad Times Theater, a world leader in developing queer voices for the stage.  Her first film, “Happy 16th Birthday, Kevin,” premiered at the Inside Out Festival in 2013.


In addition to her literary work, Mariko holds a Master’s in Women’s Studies and worked for two years on a doctorate in Linguistic Anthropology.  Her academic research focused on accents used in drag cabaret performances.  Her research inspired an ongoing obsession with the way people talk. You can follow her on Twitter.

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Square Fish

A beautiful and offbeat novel from Mariko Tamaki, co-creator of the bestselling Printz Honor and Caldecott Honor Book, This One Summer.

Hardcover; Paperback
First Second Books

A 2015 Caldecott Honor and 2015 Michael L. Printz Honor book. The gorgeous, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful story about a girl on the cusp of childhood - a story of renewal and revelation.

Introduction to Comics A basic 411 of how words and pictures combine to make up the stories we call comics.
Talk An overview of the elements that make up the speech patterns we use to build characters.
The Evolution of One Feminist Reader/Writer A brief history of the books that combined to influence the work I do today. With a breakdown of the different writers, poets, television shows and films, the storytelling and storytellers that were forced on me in high school and made me love storytelling.
Why Teenagers? What makes teenagers so fascinating? Probably the thing that makes being a teenager so hard. A list of all the reasons being a teenager sucks, an illustrated journey.
How to Write a Super Story This talk looks at the practice of writing superhero stories. First it’s an examination of the art of storytelling, the component parts of any story and how they apply to a story about heroes and villains. How do elements like plot, character, story arc and pacing work in a story about someone who has to save the day? Second, I look at how my work as a Young Adult author, and the personal stories in books like Skim and This One Summer, have shaped my own personal take on the superhero narrative. I look at the stories that have inspired me, from Alice Munro to Gene Yang, and discuss how a variety of works and influences have affected my approach to writing comics about characters that are more than, but also, human. Finally, I talk with the audience about how their personal experiences and histories could work to shape new stories about new heroes. calls Mariko Tamaki the best new superhero writer of 2018.

USA TODAY’s The Mothership podcast interviews Mariko Tamaki.

Mariko Tamaki wins the 2015 Eisner Award for This One Summer.

Mariko sits down with the New Times to discuss her recent work, YA writing, and queer lit.

Listen to Mariko on CBC’s DNTO  and The Next Chapter.

Check out more interviews with Mariko from Paste Magazine, Comics Allianceand Publisher’s Weekly.

Fine out more about Mariko Tamaki and follow her on Twitter.

Praise for This One Summer:

"This book is poignant and melancholy, and it will be swiftly recognizable to those who only recently hovered at the cusp of adolesence."

"This captivating graphic novel presents a fully realized picture of a particular time in a young girl's life, an in-between summer filled with yearning and a sense of ephemerality."
- School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

"A summer of family drama, secrets and change in a small beach town . . . Keenly observed and gorgeously illustrated - a triumph."
- Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

"With a light touch, the Tamakis capture the struggle of growing up in a patchwork of summer moments . . . Wistful, touching, and perfectly bittersweet."