Jillian Tamaki

Things! New Things!

Feb 14th, 2013

There is a lot happening! Here is a rundown.

1. I am now, improbably, the Chair of the annual show at the Society of Illustrators. John Hendrix passed the reins over in a secret ritual somewhere in the bowels of the Society a few weeks ago. [We had a cordial brunch with the past Chairs in the dining room.]

When I first moved to New York, I didn’t go to the Society much. It seemed like a bit of a closed club to me and I don’t think I was the only one who felt that way. This has dramatically changed with Anelle Miller taking over SOI operations. She has revitalized the place and made it welcoming and open to the future of illustration (while still honouring its past); I think the spirit of the Society now matches the beauty of the physical space. Want to learn more about the Society of Illustrators? Here’s a great behind-the-scenes tour. And here’s an audio interview with Anelle Miller and Exhibition Director Kate Feirtag.

2. On a related note, I am a Special Guest at this year’s MoCCAFest! As many of you know, the Society of Illustrators recently acquired the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA) collection and will now be the sole operators of MoCCAFest here in NYC. This is good news. The Society is well aware of the, ahem, “issues” the festival has had in recent years and is working very, very hard to rectify them. It’s a big job that’ll take a few years. But to be honest, after seeing what Anelle and Kate have done with the Society (see above), MoCCAFest is in very capable hands. I’m looking forward to seeing you in April!

3. My webcomic, SuperMutant Magic Academy, was nominated for a Slate Cartoonist Studio prize! Thanks Slate, Center for Cartoon Studies, and Françoise Mouly!

4. I am on my friend Lisa Hanawalt’s podcast, BABY GENIUSES! Topics discussed: boobs, marriage, Twitter, and The Beatles. We have fun.

5. Ryan Sands is one of those people who seem like they have access to a time machine because it’s kind of unbelievable how much they accomplish in a day. You may know Ryan from his anthology Thickness or his incredible Same Hat blog. Ryan, brave man, is now venturing into publishing by starting his own imprint, which will be no doubt impeccable. One of his first projects is a quarterly zine series called “Frontier”, for which I had the pleasure of designing the logo, thus employing my Graphic Design degree and languishing copy of Adobe Illustrator:

That’s my news! Current status: optimistic. Lots of good people are doing good things that are making the world a little more fun and beautiful.


Jan 23rd, 2013

What you see above is exactly half of the finished art for Awago Beach Babies, the graphic novel I am working on with my cousin Mariko. The book is about summertime, vacation, swimming, biking, futzing around in the woods. Just by coincidence, I started the final art on June 21, the Summer Solstice. Well, the summer is long gone and I’m still drawing kids splashing in the lake and townie teens riding BMX bikes. They say today is one of the coldest days of the winter so far.

In other news, Print Magazine has just published an “oral history” of the Pencil Factory, my spiritual studio. I participated in the “discussion”, which you can read here.

I also participated in a real, live discussion with cartoonists Eleanor Davis and Drew Weing on Sam Weber’s podcast, Your Dreams My Nightmares. If you haven’t checked out Sam’s podcast, please do. If you’re an illustrator, designer, or cartoonist, there’s probably someone of interest to you that’s recorded an interview.


Sep 16th, 2012

SuperMutant Magic Academy
won an Ignatz brick. Thank-you, SPX voters!

[I post SMMA comics on the above tumblr exclusively. You can follow it there, or via RSS.]

I make these comics for fun, as a break from my usual nitpicky illustration and graphic novel work. I’m glad you enjoy them too.

Also, I watched Battle Royale yesterday.

Check out the other nominated webcomics, won’t you?

* Amazing Facts… and Beyond! with Leon Beyond by Dan Zettwoch and Kevin Huizenga
* Black Is the Color by Julia Gfrorer
* Lucky by Gabrielle Bell
* Starslip by Kris Straub

Status Update

Aug 14th, 2012

Hello, I hope you’re having a nice summer. Here is what’s going on with me:

♪ My webcomic SuperMutant Magic Academy was nominated for an Ignatz award! You can vote for the awards if you attend SPX next month. Unfortunately I won’t be there though. SPX was the *first comic convention I had ever attended as either an visitor or exhibitor* in 2006, so I have a soft spot for it.

♫ I was in London in early June, during the Queen’s Jubilee.

♪ I was in Oslo where I walked in the woods with famous cartoonists.

♪ Continuing with the famous cartoonist theme: ICON conference, Providence, RI.

♫ I have a new piece in the newest Nobrow collection (7). You can buy it here. [If you’re an American, I think you might have to wait a few more days.] Below, the cover (not by me) and my 4 page comic.

♫ ONGOING: I’m plugging away on my giant graphic novel, Awago Beach Babies. Here is a pile of evidence.

♪ Enjoy the dog days ~

Society of Illustrators Talk

Feb 1st, 2012

Hey! Lisa Hanawalt, Eleanor Davis and I are talking about stuff (stuff TBA) at the Society of Illustrators this month. All info here and below:

Work Plus Play: Jillian Tamaki, Lisa Hanawalt and Eleanor Davis
Society of Illustrators, NYC
February 23, 2012 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Tickets: $15 Non-members, $10 members, $7 students. Purchase tickets here.

Jillian Tamaki, Lisa Hanawalt, and Eleanor Davis are three artists who produce work in the illustration and comics field. Come for a short presentation of their work, stay for the delightful Q&A to follow.

Lisa Hanawalt has created comics and illustrations for the New York Times, The Believer, Chronicle Books, and VICE Magazine. Her comics series, I Want You, is a feast of gross-out humor, surreal violence, and adorable animals. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Eleanor Davis is an accomplished graphic novelist, creating work for both adults and children. Her work has appeared in Fantagraphics’ MOME anthology and The Best American Comics 2009. Eleanor’s delicate yet powerful watercolors can be seen in many diverse venues, from the NYTimes Op-Ed page to gallery walls to animated commercials. She lives in Athens, Georgia.

Jillian Tamaki is an illustrator, cartoonist, textile artist, and SVA instructor. She has 3 books of comics, including SKIM (co-created with Mariko Tamaki), which was listed as one of Publishers Weekly best books of 2008. She has won 3 gold medals from the Society of Illustrators. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Society of Illustrators News

Jan 23rd, 2012

I won two gold medals from the Society of Illustrators this year, in the Book and Institutional categories. HOORAY! This means you can see the original embroidery for Black Beauty (and The Secret Garden) at the show, which runs Jan 25- Feb 18. The opening is Feb 3.

The second gold medal is for this Croquet Poster, which was commissioned by Cramer-Krasselt to benefit the Penfield Children’s Center in Milwaukee. This image will be included in the Institutional/Advertising show, February 23, 2012 – March 17, 2012. Thank you, Society and jury!

What’s Going On

Dec 13th, 2011

Hey guys, a few things I wanted to mention.

1. A Student FAQ! I made one. It’s here.

2. Tomorrow (Dec 14) I will be on my husband’s radio show, Your Dreams My Nightmares. You can ask a question via call-in, email, facebook, or twitter. All the info for that is in this post (I keep on telling him to GET RID OF THE RED, but I’m sorry. My powers only extend so far.) Your question has a much likelier chance of being answered if it doesn’t involve asking what kind of brushes I use. The interview will be archived and I’ll post the link here when it is.

3. Happy Holidays!

(The picture above is from a few months ago. It was originally commissioned by Toronto Life Magazine.)

Killed Sketches, BCGF

Dec 1st, 2011

Here is a sketch that no one was ever meant to see. it’s from a job that got killed. Boo-hoo, would have been fun. Oh well.

I will be signing at the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival this weekend. Drawn + Quarterly table, 3-4. I am always happy to sign older books if you like, since if you’re reading this right now it’s likely you’ll have already bought my D+Q petit-livre.

Saveur Recipe Comic

Oct 24th, 2011

Well, here’s something different: a MutantMagic crossover recipe comic for Saveur.com.

(Small reminder: you can read the MutantMagic webcomic here.)

Another comic-related newsie bit: tomorrow, Oct 25th, 7PM, I’ll be at BookCourt in Brooklyn for a little reading/Q&A for the Best American Comic anthology.

163 Court Street (between Pacific & Dean)

Library of Congress Acquisitions

Oct 3rd, 2011

I have some very exciting news: some of my work has been acquired by the Library of Congress! Yes, THAT Library of Congress! In Washington, DC! I sent off the two items, a short comic and one of my sketchbooks, last week. [The comic originally appeared in The Guardian UK, and much of the work in this particular sketchbook ended up in my D&Q petite livre, Indoor Voice.]

Godspeed, old friends!

I’m very honoured to be a part of the Library’s Collection. Thanks to Martha Kennedy for her interest and facilitation of the purchase.