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.

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