Thursday, November 13, 2014

Mari Naomi's Dragon's Breath

Mari Naomi just published a book of autobiographical short stories titled

Dragon's Breath and Other Stories.

Dragon’s Breath is filled with touching short stories ranging from childhood memories about her favorite grandfather to thrilling memories of running away from home or bitter sweet memories of friends found and lost.

The title story, Dragon's Breath, is about Mari's favorite Grandpa. On this page Mari's iconic imagery silently speaks her fears and doubts while the words convey her thoughts.

I’ve been following Mari’s work since I found it on a site for comic creators. She posted stories about her life and her loves. The feelings that they conveyed were so sweet and contagious that I immediately fell for it. It gave you this feeling of nostalgia of a simple, sweet past. They made me fondly remember my own memories and at the same time made me a little jealous that my life isn’t as sweet or dramatic as hers.

In Unreasonable Demands, Mari tells a dark tale of childhood fantasies which she wonderfully illustrates with her use of iconographic figures and strong contrasts.

Though my life is anything but uneventful. It's just that I spend so much of my time preoccupied with things, that I don't realize the special moments that are happening until they have come and gone. I'm sure many of us have had someone pointed out “the most beautiful sunset” and we ignore it because we are too busy or too preoccupied with something else to really appreciate it. Well Mari, in her comics, reminds us of the beauty and preciousness of those simple moments.
Mari experiments with inverting the blacks and whites to great effect in this page from Independence Day.
Mari mines the wealth of her past experiences. We get to hear about her childhood, her loves and her friendships. She reminds us about those special fleeting moments of beauty and those dark places in our psyche that we bury.

Mari's use of the silent panels speak volumes in this page.
I think this is the most significant part of Mari’s work, she reminds all what it means to be human, living these lives full of little moments that need to be appreciated and collected. They make us want to contemplate our own life and search for those little gems while they are happening instead of waiting till it’s long too late.

You can buy Dragon's Breath and Other Stories here.

You can see more stuff about Mari on her web site.


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