MariNaomi

The oddly named MariNaomi is a San Francisco writer and illustrator who self-publishes Estrus Comics. She also has an extraordinary memory. In her new graphic memoir, Kiss & Tell: A Romantic Résumé, Ages 0 to 22 (Harper Perennial, $15.99), she depicts, in sharp detail, seemingly every single boy, girl, man, and woman with whom she had some sort of intimate encounter. In doing so, she chronicles not just her incipient sexuality—elementary-school “show me yours, I’ll show you mine” moments, losing her virginity on her middle-school boyfriend’s boat, her first serious relationship with a male model/jailbird, etc.—but also her turbulent adolescence. Growing up in the '90s, she experiments with drugs, drops out of high school, and becomes a teenage runaway. There's an often jarring contrast between her sweet drawings of cheerful teens and the sobering subject matter: out-of-control LSD trips, hasty sex, and cheating lovers. As her younger self says in the book, “It’s too bad real-life stories never really end in fantastical dream sequences.” Instead of fantasy, this good-humored and bracingly honest memoir provides a fitting resolution to the author's turbulent past. MriNaomi appears tonight as part of the Sister Spit: Next Generation tour, which also includes Michelle Tea, Kirk Read, Ali Liebegott, Blake Nelson, Amos Mac, Myriam Gurba, and local writer Rebecca Brown. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Wed., March 30, 8 p.m., 2011

 
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