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Comics and Essays by MariNaomi

Distant Stars book cover art

Distant Stars
Life on Earth Book Three
Graphic Universe, March 2020

Young adult graphic novel
Ages 14 to 100

Read more about this book series.

Buy it from Skylight Books

Buy it from Bookshop

gravity's pull

Gravity's Pull
Life on Earth Book Two
Graphic Universe, January/March 2019

Young adult graphic novel
Ages 14 to 100

When Claudia Jones returns to her high school after a mysterious disappearance, she exerts a strange effect on the classmates around her. Meanwhile, her fellow students also struggle with the challenges of regular young-adult life. How should they navigate problems with identity, illness, and consent? Bringing the full possibilities of the graphic novel medium to the page, the author-artist writes and draws every chapter from a different character's point of view in a unique art style.

Read more about this book series.

Read Mari's introduction on the Lerner blog.

Buy it from Skylight Books

Buy it from Bookshop
losing the girl

Losing the Girl
Life on Earth Book One
Graphic Universe, January/May 2018

Young adult graphic novel
Ages 14 to 100

Claudia Jones is missing. Her classmates are thinking the at least the wierdest. It couldn't be an alien abduction, right?

None of Claudia's classmates at Blithedale High know why she vanished--and they're dealing with their own issues. Emily's trying to handle a life-changing surprise. Nigel just wants to meet a girl who will laugh at his jokes. And Brett hardly lets himself get close to anybody.

In Losing the Girl, the first book in the Life on Earth trilogy, Eisner-nominated cartoonist MariNaomi looks at life through the eyes of four suburban teenagers: early romance, fraying friendships, and the traces of a mysterious--maybe otherworldly--disappearance. Different chapters focus on different characters, each with a unique visual approach.

Read more about this book series.

Buy it from Lerner Books.

Buy it from Bookshop

I Thought YOU Hated ME
Retrofit Comics, September 2016

A graphic memoir about a decades-long female friendship.

Read more about this book.

Buy it from Retrofit Comics.

Buy it from Bookshop

Turning Japanese
2dcloud, May 2016

Critically acclaimed graphic memoir about working in illegal hostess bars in San Jose and Tokyo.

This is a story about growing up in a multi-racial family, being an outsider in your motherland, and trying to maintain a strong feminist identity while working demeaning customer service jobs.

Read more about this book.

Buy it from 2dcloud.

Buy it from Skylight Books

Buy it from Bookshop

dragon's breath

Dragon's Breath and Other True Stories
2dcloud/Uncivilized Books, September 2014

Graphic memoir

Nominated for a 2015 Eisner Award

In this collection of thought-provoking, emotionally honest graphic vignettes, many of which first appeared on The Rumpus as the series "Smoke In Your Eyes," MariNaomi explores a wide spectrum of topics including youthful rebellion, mortality, compassion, and partying with Duran Duran.

"Award-winning author MariNaomi returns with this charming and intimate collection of vignettes and meatier personal histories. ... The book is utterly absorbing, funny, intimate, and even philosophical."
~ Publisher's Weekly

Read more about this book.

Buy it from 2dcloud.

Buy it from Skylight Books

Buy it from The Booksmith

Buy it from Bookshop


kiss and tell

Kiss & Tell: A Romantic Resume, Ages 0 to 22
Harper Perennial, 2011

In this fresh and offbeat graphic memoir, MariNaomi chronicles her time as a misfit teen and young woman looking for love in San Francisco, while bringing to light issues of identity and sexuality.

Winner of the 2012 SPACE Prize

"The book's charm lies in MariNaomi's amused and loving perspective on her curious, tough, occasionally foolish younger self: she knows she may have misunderstood the dynamics of her relationships, but she can still evoke the intensity of her feelings."
- Douglas Wolk, The New York Times

Read more about this book.

View sample pages and/or BUY IT from HarperCollins.

Buy it from The Booksmith





MariNaomi in Print


Asian Goth Punks Rule the World! is a serialized comic strip about a best-friend duo getting into trouble in the eighties.

AGPRTW! can be found in issues of Razorcake Magazine (starting at issue 98), or for comics-tier subscribers of Mari's Patreon.


MariNaomi on the Web

le menu LE MENU: Family Neurosis Chronicled Through Dinnerware
Spiralbound on Medium, November 2017
2-minute read

A short comic about passing down the immigrant experience.
resist A Matter of Time
Resist!, December 2016

This is how I've been feeling after the election, as a queer, non-white, liberal artist woman in a scary, hate-crime filled Trumpocalyptic nightmare.
bitch mag Back in the Olden Days
Bitch Media, September 2016

A futuristic look at gender.
things that go bump Things That Go Bump in the Night
PEN America, September 2016

Trigger warning: sexual assault
BuzzFeed Reader, July 2016
cheerleader Cheerleader
BuzzFeed Reader, April 2016

Speak Up!: A Graphic Account of Roxane Gay and Erica Jong's Uncomfortable Conversation

An illustrated personal essay that takes place at the keynote of the Decatur Book Festival. It's sort of about the conversation between two prominent feminists, but more so about being a bad-ass and stepping out of your comfort zone.
September 2015
carnivore Carnivore
Virginia Quarterly Review's Summer 2015 issue


Kissing Club

Erotic fan fiction commissioned by Shipwreck SF, based on the novel Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk.
April 2015

writing poc image

Writing People of Color
(if you happen to be a person of another color)

Midnight Breakfast, September 30, 2014
Advice on how to write people of color if you happen to be a person of another color.
With contributions from cartoonists Elisha Lim, Fred Noland, Jennifer Camper, Keith Knight,
Mare Odomo, Whit Taylor and Yumi Sakugawa

Also appeared on BuzzFeed.

apology not acceptable illustration

Apology Not Acceptable

2dcloud, January 29, 2014
A super-personal essay about apologies and why forgiveness may be overrated.

hello kitty massagers

Sex Toys-R-Me: My Dream Job

The Weeklings, February 8, 2014
This story involves lending my roommate a tiny red butt-plug, avoiding bullets in an iffy
neighborhood, and the most enjoyable writing test I've ever taken.


It Happened to Me: I Was Sexually Harassed Onstage at a Comic Convention Panel

Note: XOJane is no longer a website. I will repost this on Patreon at some point.

XOJane, December 18, 2013
I feel so ashamed, sad and powerless, but I'm still not sure what I should have done in that situation.

spider egg sac

So Many Spiders

WordPress blog, December 5, 2013
What right do I have to destroy her home? She's innocent. She can't help being the deadly creature that she is.

fish painting

Exposed: Portrait of the Artist as a Seven-Minute Reality TV Segment

The Weeklings, November 26, 2013
The artist sells out. Or tries to.


Anything That Loves, 2013

A short comic about the artist discovering an attraction to the same sex.

smoke in your eyes banner Smoke In Your Eyes on

Personal stories about life, death and compassion. Many of these stories were collected in the book, Dragon's Breath and Other True Stories (2dcloud, 2014).
the comics journal banner Galapagos Travel Diary on The Comics Journal

An illustrated journal of five days on a cruise ship in the Galapagos.


Handmade Books and Zines by MariNaomi

great heights

2dcloud, 2014

A vignette about youthful daring and fear of heights.

Specs: 5'' x 4'' (hand trimmed)
6 pages
B&W, card-stock
Signed by MariNaomi

Buy it from 2dcloud.

Said While Talking book cover

Said While Talking zine
Self published/handmade

Listen in on Mari's private conversations with friends, lovers, and a celebrity or two in this collection of slice-of-life autobiographical vignette comics, many of which were originally published on Tapastic. For this printing, we've included a never-before-seen bonus two-page comic starring fellow cartoonist Carrie McNinch.

Read a review by The Comics Journal's Rob Clough.

Peek inside.

Specs: 8.5'' x 5.5'' / 84 pages
B&W interior, card-stock cover with hand-glitter detail (Note: card-stock cover is not necessarily the color depicted in this photo.)
Signed by MariNaomi

Buy it from Retrofit Comics.

Alison Bechdel Interview book cover

MariNaomi's semi-illustrated interview with Alison Bechdel
Self published/handmade

In May, 2012, MariNaomi interviewed fellow graphic memoirist Alison Bechdel for the Rumpus, delving into subjects such as narcisissm, family reactions to memoir and reading one's reviews. Now in printed form, perfect for classrooms!

Read a review by The Comic Journal's Rob Clough.

Peek inside the zine 1.
Peek inside the zine 2.

Specs: 8.5'' x 5.5''
16 pages (6 illustrated, 10 text-only)
B&W interior, card-stock cover
Signed by MariNaomi

Buy it from Retrofit Comics.

sister spit cover

Sister Spit Tour 2011 Diary
Self published/handmade

Ever wondered what it's like to go on an international literary tour with a handful of strangers? Then this is the book for you! This is my illustrated journal of my month traveling with the queer/feminist literary road show, Sister Spit, including geniuses Michelle Tea, Blake Nelson, Kirk Read, Amos Mac, Myriam Gurba, Ali Liebegott, Yony Leyser and Beth Pickens.

Read a review by The Comics Journal's Rob Clough.

Look inside.

Specs: 8.5'' x 5.5'' / 130 freaking pages!
B&W interior, card-stock cover

Buy it from Retrofit Comics.

not-so-butch book cover

Not-so-butch zine
Self published/handmade

An illustrated true tale of a queer femme looking for love in all the wrong places.

Read a review by The Comics Journal's Rob Clough.

Peek inside.

Specs: 4.25'' x 5.5'' / 22 pages
B&W copy paper

Buy it from Retrofit Comics.

sf heart

Autobiographical Reviews
of Sights, Food and Events

Self published/handmade

Part reviews of MariNaomi's favorite haunts, part autobiographical vignettes, this zine is a love letter to the city of San Francisco. Many of these comics first appeared in SFBay.CA as the monthly column "Frisco al Fresco."

Specs: 8.5'' x 5.5''
48 pages
B&W interior, color card-stock cover
Interior may have some hand-painted detail.

Available at select stores and events.



A nasty little mini
Self published/handmade
Signed/numbered limited edition

Featuring six color prints/images of dirty produce, not including the front/back images. Images are suggestive but not X-rated, and entirely gender-neutral. Each image (including front/back) is hand-accented using gel pens and sparkly and/or scented inks. Each copy has approximately 50 hand-painted accents, some of which are very subtle (ex: a sweat droplet is accented with a clear gel pen, simulating wetness). No two copies are identical.


Specs: 3'' x 3''
6 images, not including cover.
Full color, cover-stock throughout.
Each page has hand-painted details.
Signed and numbered.

Available at select stores and events.


An illustrated excerpt from Inga Muscio's brilliant book Cunt: A Declaration of Independence
Self published/handmade

In 2001, I read Inga Muscio's ultra-feminist masterpiece (see title above) and was utterly blown away. I worked up the nerve and contacted the author, asking permission to make this excerpt into zine. She said yes, and fourteen years later, I still send Inga copies each time I do a reprint. It's a great ode to loving one's womanly self in a harsh world.

Peek inside.

Specs: 8.5'' x 5.5''
24 pages
B&W interior, color card-stock cover

Available at select stores and events.



The Estrus bundle
Self published/handmade

To celebrate 18 years of making comics, I've remastered these out-of-print zines, dating from 1998 to 2009. Not sold separately!
Very limited edition--first come, first serve!
Not sold in stores!

The Estrus Collection Vol. 1
Specs: 5.5" x 8.5" / 48 pages
Color card stock cover
B&W interior

Estrus No. 3 Minicomic
Specs: 4.25'' x 5.5'' / 32 pages
B&W copy paper with red card-stock cover
B&W interior

The Estrus Colleciton Vol. 2
Specs: 5.5" x 8.5" / 41 pages
Hand-colored cover, each one unique!
B&W interior

Estrus Comics Issue 7
Specs: 5.5" x 8.5" / 28 pages
Beige card stock cover
B&W interior

Out of print


Bibliography (In Print)

Action Girl Comics, issues 15-17—edited by Sarah Dyer (SLG, 1997-98) (contributing writer/artist)
Anything That Loves—edited by Zan Christensen (Northwest Press, 2013) (contributing writer/artist)
The Big Feminist BUT—edited by Shannon O'Leary and Joan Reilley (2013) (contributing writer/artist)
Bitch Magazine—Summer 2015 and Spring 2016 (contributing writer/artist)
The Bridge Project—edited by Matt Leunig (Scraped Knee, 2009) (contributing writer/artist)
Bright Liteissues 7 and 10 (2018, 2020) (contributing writer/artist)
Broken Pencil Magazine (contributing writer/artist)
Buddha Rose—1988 (contributing poet)
Cheers to Muses: Contemporary Works by Asian American Women—Asian American Women Artists Association (2007) (contributing writer/artist)
The Comics Journal—Women in Comics issue (cover art)
Corona Zine—April 2020 (German zine) (contributing writer/artist)
Crossing Universes—edited by Keith Chow (APA Smithsonian/SIUniverse, 2017) (contributing writer/arist)
Drawing Power—edited by Diane Noomin (Abrams Books, 2019) (contributing writer/artist)
Electric Ant, Issue 1: Your First Kiss—edited by Ryan Sands (2010) (contributing writer/artist)
Every/Body Zine—(2dcloud) (contributing writer/artist)
FOLIO A Literary Journal—Volume 30, issue 1, Spring 2015 (contributing writer/artist)
Glamazonia—written and edited by Justin Hall (Northwest Press, 2010) (contributing artist)
Great Heights—2014 minicomic (Published by 2dcloud) (writer/artist)
The Harvard Advocate: The Women's IssueTurning Japanese excerpt (2019)
Henry & Glenn Forever 3—edited by Tom Neely (Microcosm Press, 2013) (contributing writer/artist) (reprinted in Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever)
Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever—edited by Tom Neely (Microcosm Press, 2015) (contributing writer/artist)
How Much Queer Work!—Russian queer comics anthology (2015) (contributing writer/artist)
Indie Ladies Comic Anthology, Vol. 1—edited by Crystal Ash and Molly Durst (Spectare Creative, 2012) (contributing writer/artist)
IndieFLY, issues 1, 2 (contributing writer/artist)
iSpy, issue 2—edited by Christina Loff (2002) (contributing writer/artist)
I Saw You... A Missed Connections Anthology—edited by Julia Wertz (Three Rivers Press, 2009) (contributing writer/artist)
It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere, Best Of
edited by Julia Ingalls (2019) (contributing writer/artist)
Little Heart: A Comics Anthology for Marriage Equality (2dcloud, 2012) (contributing writer/artist)
Make Magazine (contributing writer/artist)
Mission at Tenth, volume 4—edited by Randall Babtkis (California Institute of Integral Studies, 2013) (contributing writer/artist)
Mission at Tenth, Best Of—edited by Julie Levak-Madding (California Institute of Integral Studies, 2019) (contributing writer/artist) A Multitude of Voices, vol. 15—edited by Matt Holdaway (contributing writer/artist)
New Frontiers: The Many Worlds of George Takei—edited by Keith Chow and Jeff Yang (Secret Universe, 2017) (contributing writer/artist)
New Girl Law: Drafting a Future for Cambodia—by Anne Elizabeth Moore (Microcosm Press, 2012) (cover artist)
No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics—edited by Justin Hall (Fantagraphics Books, 2012) (contributing writer/artist)
Noisemakers: 25 Women who Raised their Voices and Changed the World, a Kazoo anthology—edited by Erin Bried (Knopf, 2020) (contributing writer/artist) Not My Small Diary, issues 11-19—edited by Delaine Derry Green (Small Diary World, 2004-2017) (contributing writer/artist) (reprinted in Best of NMSD anthology)
Oafanthology 2—edited by Ed Luce, 2015 (contributing writer/artist)
On the Other Hand—edited by Peter Conrad (2004) (contributing writer/artist)
Out of Our, issue 12—edited by Sarah Page and Steven Gray (2012) (contributing writer/artist)
Pazzione, issue 1 (Turcano Press, 2001) (contributing writer/artist)
Pet Noir: An Anthology of Strange but True Pet Crimes—edited by Shannon O'Leary (Manic D Press, 2006) (contributing writer/artist, co-editor, fundraiser)
Pet Project—edited by Rina Ayuyang (2008) (contributing writer/artist)
Pratfall Anthologyedited by Rob Kirby (2014) (contributing writer/artist)
QU33R—edited by Rob Kirby (Northwest Press 2013) (contributing writer/artist)
Razorcake Magazine—Asian Goth Punks Rule the World! column, issues 98-109 (2017-2019)
Resist!—edited by Francoise Mouly (Desert Island, 2017) (contributing writer/artist)
The Secret Loves of Geeks—edited by Hope Nicholson (2018)
Sister Spit: Writing, Rants and Reminiscence from the Road—(City Lights, 2012) (contributing writer/artist)
Story Magazine, issue 1A—(Winter 2014) (contributing writer/artist)
Storytime—edited by Anne-Chang-Blaeske and Phil Yeh (Friends of Lulu, 2000) (contributing writer/artist)
Stray, issues 1 and 2—edited by Robert Kranzke (Strayways Press, 2002) (contributing writer/artist)
Subcultures Anthology—edited by Whit Taylor (Ninth Art Press, Fall 2014) (contributing writer/artist)
Them's the Breaks, Kid anthology (Five True Fans, 2012) (contributing writer/artist, graphic layout, production)
This Isn't Working: Comics About Ex-Boyfriends—edited by Robyn Chapman (Paper Rocket Press, 2011) (contributing writer/artist)
Transit Comics—edited by John Isaacson (contributing writer/artist)
True Porn, an anthology—edited by Kelli Nelson and Robyn Chapman (2001) (contributing writer/artist)
Versus Comics, issues 1 and 3—edited by Kiyoshi Nakazawa (Lost Dog Press, 2003, 2004) (contributing writer/artist)

Virginia Quarterly Review—Summer, 2015 (contributing writer/artist)
Women's Review of Books—March/April 2011 (Volume 28, Issue 2) (contributing writer/artist)

Bibliography (Online)

• 2dcloud—Apology Not Acceptable (2014) (contributing writer/artist)
The Bay Citizen—Drawing Crowds NYE 2012 (2012) (writer/artist)
The Bay Citizen—Review of You're Going to Die reading (2012) (writer/artist)

• BuzzFeed—An Illustrated Guide to Writing People of Color (2014) (writer/artist) (reprint from Midnight Breakfast: see link below)
• BuzzFeed Reader—Cheerleader (2016) (writer/artist)
• BuzzFeed Reader—Chicken (2016) (writer/artist)
The Comics JournalGalapagos Travel Diary (2012) (writer/artist)
• Angels Flight—Dear Sugar, Resistance Edition by Cheryl Strayed (2017) (illustrations)
• Electric Literature—Speak Up!: A Graphic Account of Roxane Gay and Erica Jong's Uncomfortable Conversation (2015) (writer/artist)
The Harvard AdvocateTurning Japanese excerpt (2019)
• Hulu—My Handmaid's Tale (2017) (writer/artist commission)
Los Angeles Review of BooksWhat Kind of Animal Am I? an illustrated review of Diane Obomsawin's On Loving Women (2014) (writer/artist)
Los Angeles Review of BooksMimi Pond, Cartoonist Royalty an illustrated review of Mimi Pond's Over Easy (2014) (writer/artist)
Midnight BreakfastWriting People of Color if You Happen to be a Person of Another Color (2014) (writer/artist) (reprinted on Buzzfeed)
Okey-Panky—Excerpt of Turning Japanese (2015) (writer/artist)
• PEN America—Excerpt of Turning Japanese (2015) (writer/artist)
•—Smoke In Your Eyes—monthly/biweekly comic (2011-2013) (writer/artist)
• SFBay.CA—Frisco al Fresco—biweekly comic (2011-2013) (writer/artist)
• Spiralbound on Medium—LE MENU: Family Neurosis Chronicled Through Dinnerware (2017) writer/artist
• Study Group—Excerpt of Dragon's Breath and Other True Stories (2014) (writer/artist)
•—Said While Talking weekly comic (2012) (writer/artist)
• Truth-out.orgLadydrawers—by Anne Elizabeth Moore: Intro Ladydrawers (2011) (artist)
Ladydrawers—by Anne Elizabeth Moore: Graphic Evidence of Inequality Part 1 (2011) (artist)
• Truth-out.orgLadydrawers—by Anne Elizabeth Moore: Graphic Evidence of Inequality Part 2 (2011) (artist)
• Virginia Quarterly Review—Carnivore (Summer 2015 issue) (writer/artist)
• The Weeklings—Exposed: Portrait of the Artist as a 7-Minute Reality TV Segment (2013) (writer)

• The Weeklings—Sex Toys-R-Me: My Dream Job (2014) (writer)
• XOJane—It Happened To Me (2013) (writer/artist)

Self-published (In Print)

Dirty Produce—2015 minicomic
Estrus Comics, issues 1-7—1998-2009 single-person anthology
The Evil—2013 minicomic
Not-so-butch—2011 minicomic
Said While Talking—2014 zine

Semi-Illustrated Interview with Alison Bechdel—2014 zine
SF Heart—2015 zine
Sister Spit Tour 2011 Diary, An Illustrated Travel Journal—2011 zine
Sleep Deprived—2011 zine

What's New, Pussycat?—2014 hand-bound book
Womanifesto for the Categorical New Freedom Lady zine (excerpt from a book by Inga Muscio)—1999 zine