February 27, 2016

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Graphic Nonfiction: Mari Naomi Plants a Story from Her Life

Panel Pal Mari Naomi is one of the best of being brutally honest about her personal life. The author of Dragon's Breath and Other Stories as well as last year's Turning Japanese is also good at finding a bit of comedy in the mundane.

Here's an example of that, titled "Carnivore," about the time she wanted fresh air in her drawing space but also had to battle flies. The answer is one of my favorite plants, as we can see from this panel:



I'm most familiar with Mari's work in black and white, so seeing her add color here is extra special, bringing a new dimension to her overall layouts. What's interesting to me is that she doesn't try to color everything, or even completely color any particular object. That means that the reader's eye is drawn to whatever she opts to color. It's also fun seeing Mari portray herself as she looked during this time in her life. And of course, as I've noted before, her ability to adjust the pictures on the page to suit her needs, such as the really cool eyes at the top of the page above, and the variety between tight panels and larger looks is what puts her above most in the autobiographical comic field.

You can read "Carnivore" in its entirety here.
Mari Naomi's website is here.