Robot 6

ALA, award-winning Skim draw scorn of conservative commentator



Using the award-winning graphic novel Skim as ammunition, a conservative columnist has launched a preemptive strike against the American Library Association’s 2010 Youth Media Awards.

In a post at Newsbusters, a website devoted to “Exposing & Combating Liberal Media Bias,” Carolyn Plocher pursues the bugaboo of the ALA’s “not-so-hidden gay agenda,” and tells parents to look forward to “dozens of books with themes about ‘coming out,’ pedophilia, trans-gender issues, and sodomy laws.”

As an example of what we may expect from the Youth Media Awards, Plocher turns to Skim, the 2008 graphic novel by cousins Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki about a 16-year-old Wiccan at an all-girls school who falls for her (female) drama teacher. Mariko Tamaki has described Skim as “a gothic Lolita lesbian story” told from the perspective of the Lolita.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Plocher describes the book differently, if with more detail: “The protagonist of the graphic novel, Kim Cameron — nicknamed Skim because she’s not slim — participates in séances, channels the spirits, swears judiciously, discusses porn and handjobs, and skips class to smoke. The major plot of the story revolves around Skim’s relationship with her flaky drama teacher, Ms. Archer. When Ms. Archer catches Skim skipping class and smoking a cigarette, she sits down for a drag herself, which eventually leads to a romantic relationship depicted in a double-page tableau of the two kissing in the woods.”

A double-page tableau! Of kissing! How … scandalous?

But you see, it’s all part of the ALA’s devious plot to use highfalutin terms like “authentic literature” and “literary merit” to take up the twin causes of “normalizing homosexuality and advancing the gay agenda.”

“The ALA claims that ‘authentic literature’ like Skim more accurately portrays the gritty, real American life, and therefore, has more literary merit,” Plocher writes. “It’s a manipulative tactic that has effectively stocked library shelves across the nation with pro-homosexual books that inevitably fall into children’s hands.”

If you’ve fully recovered from your shock by Jan. 18, you can follow the ALA Youth Media Awards via live webcast here.



So in other words, the columnist hasn’t actually refuted the worthiness of the book but merely pointed out a few things that happen in it with the expectation we’ll be scandalized. Call me if a conservative columnist ever makes an aesthetic argument rather than a moralistic one.

Sean T. Collins

January 6, 2010 at 8:45 am

How I hate these panty-sniffers.

Insert joke alleging the commentator’s own repressed homosexuality here.

I’ve seen this book around the library for a while. Now I’m going to check it out!

(That’s called sublimation.)

Wow, I was unfamiliar with this book before, but I’ll be sure to pick a copy now. Thanks, Carolyn Plotcher!

Nothing guarantees a books popularity like wing-nut criticism.

DAN sez: I’ve seen this book around the library for a while. Now I’m going to check it out!

ANDREW sez: Wow, I was unfamiliar with this book before, but I’ll be sure to pick a copy now.


It’s quite good, and beautifully drawn. You’ll like it. Lots more people should check it out.


How dare libraries offer books that teens might actually enjoy.

Great book.

Because, as we all know, telling TEENAGERS that they shouldn’t read/watch/listen to something will totally turn them off from it.

It’s a wonderful book in all of it’s aspects.

I thought Skim to be one of the very best books I’ve ever read about a teen, beyond the brutally accurate examples of dysfunctional covens.

If the ALA is embracing a overtly LGBT-friendly “agenda” of teaching kids to accept themselves than all I can say is – what’s the problem here?



Hungry for Yuri? Have some Okazu!

I was on vacation in Vancouver (I’m from Denmark) and I actually found the book in a gay book-store. Had been around in several comic-stores and they have never heard about it. Everyone should check it out its amazing.

Please. This book is downright enjoyable! Why should it matter if there are homosexual themes present? I find this often makes a good story. Gorgeous art, wonderful graphic novel. I recommend it to any reader.

Leave a Comment


Browse the Robot 6 Archives