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Looking at this book made me want to draw. Tamaki’s collection of drawings remind me of a mix between the graffiti style art of Barry McGee juxtaposed against stills from the Japanese animated film Princess Mononoke. Her drawings are both detailed and graphic which works in her favour as the book is printed in black and white. However, Tamaki’s sophisticated and unique colour palates are lost in the greyscale version of her drawings. Upon visiting her website www.jillian tamaki.com, her online portfolio displays a few full colour versions of the work that is reproduced in Gilded Lilies. Unfortunately, they lose much of their vibrancy in black and white book form. It makes me wonder how many of her drawings have been lost in the conversion to black and white. Tamaki’s sense of humour comes out in her drawings of Edmonton life depicting women with middleaged bodies holding an extreme bikini carwash, as well as a barefooted woman struggling to bring garbage bags of clothes to the local Value Village. These are balanced by more sensitive moments such as her drawing “Bermuda 1972” showing a snapshot of a father and his young daughter holding hands in the ocean. The first half of the book seems like a sketchbook of comics and drawings that reveal Tamaki’s range of styles. The second half of Gilded Lilies titled “Tapemines” is a visual narrative following two children who are having a surreal adventure. Hopefully everyone will buy Gilded Lilies so that Tamaki’s next book can be printed in colour. (ASM Kobayashi)

by Jillian Tamaki, $20, 120 pgs, Conundrum Press, P.O. Box 55003, CSP Fairmount, Montreal, QC, H2T 3E2, conundrumpress.com


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