bisexual Artist, author, and podcaster
MariNaomi (she/they) is the award-winning author and illustrator. Their work has appeared in over eighty print publications and been featured in the Smithsonian, the de Young Museum, the Cartoon Art Museum, the Asian Art Museum, and the Japanese American Museum. They are the founder and administrator of the Cartoonists of Color Database, the Queer Cartoonists Database, and the Disabled Cartoonists Database. They have taught classes for the California College of the Arts Comics MFA program, and was a guest editor for PEN Illustrated. They were cohost of the Ask Bi Grlz podcast with author Myriam Gurba.
In 1995, twenty-two-year-old Mari had just exited a long-term relationship, moving from Mill Valley to San Jose, California. Soon enough, she falls in love, then finds employment at a hostess bar for Japanese expats, where she is determined to learn the Japanese language and culture. Turning Japanese is a story about otherness, culture clashes, generation gaps, and youthful impetuosity.
I Thought You Hated Me
When MariNaomi first meets Mirabai in grade school, Mirabai seems to be more of a bully than a friend. But over the course of time, their relationship shifts from tense to friendly, to drifting apart, to reconnecting and finding something much deeper…
Dragon’s Breath and Other True Stories
MariNaomi explores a wide range of topics including youthful rebellion, mortality, disillusionment, and compassion. Many of these stories were first serialized on the popular site The Rumpus.
Kiss and Tell: A Romantic Resume, Ages 0 To 22
From her father and mother’s interracial marriage to her own “you show me yours, I’ll show you mine” moments on the playground—from drug experimentation to sexual/identity questions—MariNaomi lays her inner life bare. Against the colorful backdrop of San Francisco in the ’80s and ’90s, MariNaomi carries us through first love and worst love, through heartbreak and bedroom experimentation as she grows from misfit teen to young woman.