The Atlantic

The Cartoonist Who Makes You Look Twice

With Boundless, Jillian Tamaki makes a profound case for the primacy of images in storytelling.
Source: Drawn & Quarterly

“Boundless” could be Jillian Tamaki’s motto. Over her 14-year career, the cartoonist has consistently leaped in new directions. Whether designing book covers using embroidery, illustrating articles for The New York Times, or creating a nihilistic superhero comic, her output has been intellectually curious and artistically roving. And so it’s fitting that Boundless is also the title of her new story collection.

An ambitious and eclectic set of tales, it focuses on the interior lives of unexpected subjects: the writer of a pornographic sitcom, a shrinking woman, a plant-nursery employee with an internet doppelganger, even a fly. Boundless uses a constantly varying visual treatment that keeps readers on their toes and mixes and matches artistic styles with a proliferating set of genres, from speculative fiction to domestic drama to magical realism. If a reader comes to Boundless with assumptions about visual storytelling, Tamaki will confound them.

With

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

Related Interests

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic4 min readPolitics
Trump’s Myth About Adam Schiff
Instead of mounting a defense of their client, the president’s lawyers homed in on remarks delivered by the House Democrat back in September.
The Atlantic6 min read
What a Billionaire Thinks Every Kid Should Know
What has made Ray Dalio, the billionaire who founded the biggest hedge fund in the world, so financially successful? Dalio himself has offered an explanation: In 2017, he summed up his accumulated wisdom in a book called Principles: Life & Work, whic
The Atlantic15 min readPolitics
The Disintegration of the American Presidency
The president’s job is to oversee the whole of the executive branch, but under Trump the inverse is happening.