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Author Event – MariNaomi for “I Thought You Loved Me”

September 8, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


About the Book:
This graphic Gen X memoir, which is told in prose, collage, and sequential art, explores queer culture, feminism, race, class, sex work, and the flawed nature of memory as Mari works to uncover a long-lost best friend that she can no longer remember but can’t let go.

Jodie was Mari’s best friend through their teens and twenties. As young Mari began to explore her identity as a bisexual, biracial outsider in a rich, white town, Jodie was her constant confidant, even kissing Mari out of the closet. The two were inseparable as they sought to gain a foothold in life and love as young feminists, Jodie an entrepreneurial sex worker, and Mari working in the boys’ club of video game development in the late ‘90s. Then, suddenly and mysteriously, Jodie ends their friendship. Years later, Mari is stunned when she discovers why.

Now much older, Mari is ready to forgive, but her memories of Jodie seem to have vanished. Through journal excerpts, letters, conversations with friends, and cross-country travel, she pieces together lost memories from a lost friendship, in an attempt at catharsis. The reader follows in real-time as the author unravels her own mystery, examining the expectations of friendship, the unreliability of memory, and the struggle to let go.

“With I Thought You Loved Me, MariNaomi has created a new genre: the memoir-thriller. What begins as an exercise in rifling through the scrapbook of her memories turns into a series of unlikely and even jaw-dropping events. With MariNaomi’s innovative use of collage and minimalist line art, I Thought You Loved Me transforms from leisurely read into page-turning shocks, never deviating from its focus on intimacy, memory, and loss.” —Comics critics, Rob Clough, Fieldmouse Press

“Can I have a crush on a comic? There is so little experimentation anymore in the form, it feels abrupt and exciting to fall into I Thought You Loved Me, like an infatuation, the brights are bright and the darks, dark. MariNaomi creates a new idiom for this comic, pushing the form to describe and evoke the layers of the story, which is eluding her even as she tries to tell it. Brilliant, heartbreaking, revealing as a dream.” —Alexander Chee, the author of How To Write An Autobiographical Novel

About the Author:
MariNaomi (she/they) is the award-winning author and illustrator of Kiss & Tell: A Romantic Resume, Ages 0 to 22, Dragon’s Breath and Other True Stories, Turning Japanese, I Thought YOU Hated ME, the Life on Earth trilogy, and Dirty Produce. Their work has appeared in over eighty print publications, numerous websites including The New Yorker’s Daily Shouts. MariNaomi’s comics and paintings have been featured in the Smithsonian, the de Young Museum, the Cartoon Art Museum, the Asian Art Museum, and the Japanese American Museum. In addition, 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 served as a guest editor for PEN Illustrated.

Event will be in person.


September 8, 2023
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


People’s Book
7014-A Westmoreland Ave.
Takoma Park, MD 20912 United States
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