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About MariNaomi

MariNaomi (she/they) is the award-winning author and illustrator of Kiss & Tell: A Romantic Resume, Ages 0 to 22 (Harper Perennial, 2011), Dragon's Breath and Other True Stories (2dcloud/Uncivilized Books, 2014), Turning Japanese (2dcloud, 2016), I Thought YOU Hated ME (Retrofit Comics, 2016), the Life on Earth trilogy (Graphic Universe, 2018-2020), and Dirty Produce (Workman Publishing, Nov. 2021). Her work has appeared in over eighty print publications and has been featured on websites such as The New Yorker's Daily Shouts, The Rumpus, LA Review of Books, Midnight Breakfast and BuzzFeed, and has been translated into French (Devenir Japonaise, Editions IMHO, Feb. 2021) and Russian.

MariNaomi's comics and paintings have been featured by such institutions as the Smithsonian, the De Young Museum, the Cartoon Art Museum, the Asian Art Museum, and the Japanese American Museum.

In 2011 and 2018, Mari toured with the literary roadshow Sister Spit. She is the founder and administrator of the Cartoonists of Color Database, the Queer Cartoonists Database, and the Disabled Cartoonists Database. She has taught classes for the California College of the Arts Comics MFA program, and was a guest editor for PEN Illustrated. She is a cohost of the Ask Bi Grlz podcast with author Myriam Gurba.

MariNaomi lives in Los Angeles with a husband and a menagerie of cats, dogs, and butterfly babies.

Read MariNaomi's artist statement.

Frequently Asked Questions

MariNaomi by Jolene Siana, 2019
MariNaomi by Jolene Siana, 2019


Press and Readings (by date, most recent first)

ShoutOut LA—December 2020 "Meet MariNaomi / Author, Visual Artist & Community Organizer"
Metropolis Japan—September 2020 "3 Female Artists You Should Follow"
Queer Majority—September 2020 "MariNaomi's Story"
Solrad—July 2020 "Knowing is Half the Battle: MariNaomi Gives Advice on the Publishing Industry"
The Orange County Register—July 2020 "How LA-based comics artist MariNaomi created Cartoonists of Color"
Very Very Shopping Network 3—July 2020 (Shopping network video, 16 min.)
Comics Experience—July 2020 "MariNaomi's Databases and Addressing Creator Diversity Thoughtfully"
Apparel for Authors—March 2020 (Literary fashion blog)
15 Minutes: a podcast about fame, with Jamie Berger—September 2019 "Episode 71: MariNaomi"
Creator at Large / The Business of Comic Books podcast—August 2019  "Risk-Taking and Healthy Realism with MariNaomi"

Publisher's Weekly—April 2019 "MariNaomi Shines a Light on Diverse Cartoonists"
Yale News—February 2019 "Graphic Novelist Explores Identity at Asian-American Cultural Center"
Pacific Standard—January 2019 recommendations "Author and Illustrator MariNaomi Examines the Lifes of Complex Characters"
BackerKit—November 2018 interview "MariNaomi is Making a Difference with the Cartoonists of Color Database"
Razorcake Podcast—November 2018 audio "MariNaomi Interview Podcast by Todd Taylor"
XOXO Talk—September 2018 video "MariNaomi, Cartoonist/Community Organizer - XOXO Festival"
A People's Guide to Publishing podcast—September 2018 interview with Joe Biel "Identity Politics" (1 hour, 17 min.)
Los Feliz Ledger—August 2018 "MariNaomi's Comic Sensibility"
Lerner Books Blog—May 2018 "Graphic Novelist MariNaomi on 'Unlikable' Characters"
Voyage LA—April 2018 "Meet MariNaomi"
Lerner Books Blog—April 2018 "Meet Graphic Novel Author MariNaomi"
Literary Hub—November 2017 "Margaret Atwood, Molly Crabapple, and More, Recommend Books to Donald Trump"
The Book Smugglers—November 2017 "Cover Reveal: Losing the Girl by MariNaomi"
Gut Feelings Zine—August 2017 interview: "Inside the Head of MariNaomi"
Comics Beat—August 2017 interview by Andrea Ayres: "DeConnick and MariNaomi on #visiblewomen: Creating Community and Change One Resource At a Time"
Giant Robot Media—July 2017 interview and video "Illustrating the Awesome and the Awkward"
• Mixd Azn Queers Zine—2017 interview by Jess Wu-O
Fiction Advocate—March 2017 interview by E.B. Bartels: "Non-Fiction by Non-Men: MariNaomi"
ROAR—February 2017 interview by Ashley Perez: Roar Spotlight #2: MariNaomi
Society6—January 2017 roundup: "#ArtGoals: Artists on New Year's Resolutions and How to Stick To 'Em"
Recommended if You Like podcast—2016 interview with Brian Heater, episode 199 (53 minutes)
Howlarium—December 2016 roundtable discussion: "Beyond Ideology? Creative writing's (new?) political imperatives"
Fusion—October 2016 interview with Sulagna Misra: "Turning Japanese makes learning a new language into a globe-trotting adventure"
Catapult—October 2016 article about process: "The Making of a Comics Memoir"
Vice Magazine, The Creators Project—September 2016 interview with Mike Steyels: "A Peek Inside the Essential Cartoonists of Color Database"
Brooklyn Paper—September 2016 article by Lauren Gill: "Brooklyn Book Fest Paints Downtown Read"
Fuse Literary blog—September 2016 interview with agent Gordon Warnock: "I Thought You Hated Me Is Out Now"
Comics Alternative Interviews podcast—September 2016 episode featuring 2dcloud creators Gina Wynbrandt, Will Dinski and MariNaomi (1 hour, 43 min.)
Los Angeles MagazineSeptember 2016 feature by Mia Nakaji Monnier
The Comics Journal podcast—August 2016 interview with Greg Hunter (33 min.)
Yay!LA Art & Culture Magazine—August 2016 interview by Daniel Barron
: "Talking Graphic Images with MariNaomi"
The Mixed Experience podcast—July 2016
interview with Heidi Durrow (27 min.)

Sagittarian Matters podcast—July 2016 interview with Nicole J. Georges (52 min.)
We Should Be Friends podcast—July 2016 interview, episode 30 (audio, 1.5 hours)
TORJA Japanese Magazine—July 2016 interview with Ai Sakai
(in Japanese)
The Comics Journal—June 2016 conversation with Rob Kirby: "I Want Everything to Mean Something"
• Talk Story—June 2016 interview with Nishat Kurwa
Comic Book Resources—June 2016 interview with Alex Dueben: "MariNaomi Explores Being Young and Turning Japanese"
Bitch Media—June 2016 interview with Amy Lam: "MariNaomi Looks In Between Cultures in Illustrated Memoir Turning Japanese"
Vice Magazine—May 2016 interview with Rachel Davies: "Exploring Japanese Identity as a Hostess in Illegal Expat Bars"
The Millions—May 2016 interview with Mia Nakaji Monnier: "I Was Never Big on Fitting In"
Marie Claire—May 2016 interview with Steph Opitz: "Homeward Bound"
AndiLit—May 2016 interview with Andi: "You Can't Please Everybody"
INQ Podcast—May 2016 interview with Zan Christensen about how to write memoir without pissing people off (45 min.)

Unicorn Booty—March 2016 interview with Zan Christensen: "Autobiography of a Japanese Bar Hostess"
Toronto Star—February 2016 interview with Ryan Porter
The Town Crier—February 2016 discussion with Kendra Yee and Laura Kenins: "Write Who You Know"
Tight Pencils Podcast
January 2016 interview with Kevin Budnick

Black Girl Nerds—December 2015 interview with Joelle Monique: "CALA Spotlight"
Bitch Media Popaganda PodcastJuly 2015 interview with Kristin Rogers Brown
WarscapesJanuary 2015 interview with Grace Jung: "Chronicles of a Teenage Runaway"
Women Write About Comics—December 2014 interview with Megan Purdy
: "Building on Community, Necessity, and Forgiveness"
The Blood-Jet RadioDecember 2014 interview with Rachelle Cruz (audio 40 min.)
Large-Hearted Boy—November 2014 autobio Book Notes playlist for Dragon's Breath and Other True Stories
Comic Book Resources—October 2014 interview
with Alex Dueben
Ottawa Writes Podcast—October 2014 interview with Kevin Johns
(audio 47 min.)
Brevity Magazine—September 2014 interview with Sarah Einstein
Books and Authors Podcast—September 2014 interview with Cary Barbor Zahaby (audio 17 min.)
BookTrib Magazine—September 2014 interview with Tahneer Oksman
The Nerds of Color Hard N.O.C. Life—September 2014 video interview with Keith Chow (video 40 min.)
• Peach Fuzz Magazine—2014 interview with Trish Connelly
Creative Ladies—April 2014 Welcome to Ladyville interview with Kerry Winfrey
Panel Patter—January 2014 interview with Whit Taylor
• Shakeytown Radio Podcast—September 2013 interview with Brodie Foster Hubbard (audio 68 min.)
Hyphen Magazine (excerpt)—Summer 2013 interview with Cathlin Goulding
Ladydrawers blog—January 2013 interview with Anne Elizabeth Moore
Art Animal—July 2012 interview with Alison Kjeldgaard

Rumpus Letters In the Mail reading—Verdi Club, San Francisco, June 2012 (video)
LA Zine Fest Sleep Deprived reading—Los Angeles, June 2012 (video)
• Geek Bombast Podcast—February 2012 interview (audio
7 min.)
TCJ Talkies Podcast—November 2011 interview/MIX panel with Noah V
an Sciver and Mike Dawson (audio 47 min.)
Radar blog—October 2011 interview about vampires with Michelle Tea
Booksmith Reading—April 2011 reading at Booksmith in San Francisco, CA, plus Q&A (video)
Graphic Novel Reporter—April 2011 interview with John Hogan: "Lovers' (Memory) Lane
San Francisco Chronicle—April 2011 interview with Nellie Bowles
Smith Magazine—April 2011 interview with Lisa Qiu
Large-Hearted Boy—March 2011 autobio Book Notes playlist for Kiss & Tell
The Comics Journal—March 2011 interview with Rob Clough
• Nichi Bei Times—January 2010 interview with Beth Hillman
• The Puppy reading—Three Dollar Bill Cafe, San Francisco, March 2008 (video)
With Zan Christensen of Northwest Press—Wondercon, San Francisco, February 2008 (30-sec. video)
Ink Studs Podcast—2008 interview with Robin McConnell (audio 27 min.)
SFist—2007 interview with Christina Loff
• LaDy LaMb&Popsy—2007 interview with Claudio Parentela
• That's Clever, season 4, episode 6—2006 HGTV (video)
• Juxtapoz Tribe—2005 interview with Dharmabox

© 2021 MariNaomi

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