Raina Telgemeier (born May 26, 1977) is an American cartoonist whose works include the autobiographic webcomic Smile: A Dental Drama, which was published by Scholastic Press's Graphix imprint as a full-color graphic novel in February 2010. That book, as well as the follow-up Sisters and the fiction graphic novel Drama have all been on The New York Times Best Seller lists.

Life & CareerEdit

Telgemeier was born San Francisco, California. She has two younger siblings, Amara and Will Telgemeier, both depicted in her books Smile and Sisters. In her pre-teen years, Telgemeier suffered a serious mouth injury that required several years of dental and orthodontic surgery; she was viciously teased by her friends, prompting her to partially withdraw into her love of drawing until she lost her patience with the abuse when they publicly humiliated her.[1] The whole experience formed the basis of her webcomic/graphic novel Smile.[2] She eventually found new friends of better character in high school who appreciated her artistic talent, increasing her confidence. With that encouragement, she studied illustration at New York's School of Visual Arts. Previously, she lived in Astoria, New York,[3] but has since returned to San Francisco.[2] She lists Jeff Smith, Lynn Johnston, and Lynda Barry among her influences.[2]

Telgemeier's works include a series of self-published mini-comics called Take-Out Comics,[2] a short story in Bizarro World for DC Comics, a short story in Volume 4 of the Flight anthology, and four graphic novel adaptations of Ann M. Martin's The Baby-sitters Club series for Scholastic/Graphix: Kristy's Great Idea, The Truth About Stacey, Mary Anne Saves the Day, and Claudia and Mean Janine.[4]

In August 2009, Del Rey Manga released X-Men: Misfits, which Telgemeier co-created with her husband, Dave Roman.[4]

In February 2010, Telgemeier released Smile.

In September 2012, her graphic novel Drama about a middle school stage crew and performers was released.

In August 2014, her second autobiographical graphic novel, Sisters, about her life growing up with her younger sister, was released.

In August 2016, Ghosts was released, which is about a girl and her family moving to a new town, and the girl seeing ghosts and celebrating Day of the Dead.

Awards & RecognitionEdit

Telgemeier was awarded Friends of Lulu's Kimberly Yale Award for Best New Talent in 2003.[5] She was also nominated for the 2003 Ignatz Award in the categories of Promising New Talent and Outstanding Mini-comic (for Take-Out Comics)[6] and the 2005 Eisner Award for Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition. The first Baby-sitters Club graphic novel, Kristy's Great Idea, was picked by YALSA for their 2007 Great Graphic Novels for Teens list, as well as Booklist's 2007 Top Ten Graphic Novels for Youth list.[3]

Smile, her graphic novel based on her webcomic was named a 2010 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor title, the first time a graphic novel was so honored.[7][8] Smile was also a 2010 New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2010, an ALA Core Graphic Novel,[3] a 2011 YALSA Top 10 Great Graphic Novels for Teens pick,[9] and a Children's Choice Book Award Finalist. In 2011, the book won the Eisner Award for Best Publication for Teens.[10] She had previously been nominated twice for the Web Cartoonists' Choice Award in the Outstanding Reality/Slice-of-Life category for the original webcomic of Smile.[1]

Drama made the annual top ten lists for teens or young adults from YALSA, the ALA, and Booklist[3] and was excerpted in The Best American Comics 2014. It was also a 2013 Stonewall Book Award Honor Book[11] and was named an ALA Rainbow List Top Ten Title[12] for its LGBT-inclusive cast.

Sisters was a 2014 New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice,[13] and in 2015, she received the Eisner Award for Best Writer/Artist.[10]

On May 10, 2015, four of Telgemeier's books (Drama, Smile, Sisters, and Kristy's Great Idea) took all of the top on The New York Times Best Seller list for paperback graphic books.[14] By the time The New York Times ended their graphic books Best Seller lists on January 29, 2017, the top three books were Ghosts (on the list for 18 weeks, since its release), Drama (179 weeks), and Smile (240 weeks, just over four-and-a-half years); Sisters ranked #8 (117 weeks).[15]

Bibliography Edit

Graphic Novels Edit

  • Baby-sitters Club #1: Kristy’s Great Idea (Scholastic/Graphix, 2006)
  • Baby-sitters Club #2: The Truth About Stacey (Scholastic/Graphix, 2006)
  • Baby-sitters Club #3: Mary Anne Saves the Day (Scholastic/Graphix, 2007)
  • Baby-sitters Club #4: Claudia and Mean Janine (Scholastic/Graphix, 2008)
  • Drama (Scholastic/Graphix, 2012)
  • Ghosts (Scholastic/Graphix, 2016)
  • Shutterbug Follies (inker/colorist only) (Doubleday, 2002)
  • Sisters (Scholastic/Graphix, 2014)
  • Smile (Scholastic/Graphix, 2010)
  • X-Men: Misfits (Random House/Del Rey Manga, 2009)

Short Stories Edit

  • "Lost and Found", written by Dave Roman, in Agnes Quill: An Anthology of Mystery (Slave Labor Graphics, 2006)
  • "What's Yr Take On...?", written by Dave Roman, in Awesome: The Indie Spinner Rack Anthology (Evil Twin Comics, 2007)
  • "Deceptacon", written by Dave Roman, in Awesome 2: Awesomer (Top Shelf, 2009)
  • "Take You Kids to Work Day", written by Dave Roman, in Bizarro World (DC Comics, 2005)
  • "The Discovery" in Bone: Out From Boneville Tribute Edition (Scholastic/Graphix, 2015)
  • "The Rainy Day Monitor", co-written with Dave Roman, in Comics Squad: Recess! (Random House, 2014)
  • "Desert Island Playlist", co-written with Dave Roman, in Explorer: The Lost Islands (Abrams/Amulet, 2013)
  • "Spring Cleaning", co-created with Dave Roman, in Explorer: The Mystery Boxes (Abrams/Amulet, 2012)
  • "Rapunzel" in Fairy Tale Comics (First Second Books, 2013)
  • "Dinosaur Egg" in Flight, Volume 4 (Villard, 2007)
  • Getting the Sex Out of the Way (Meathaus Press, 2002)
  • "Deer" and "Summer Sky" in Not My Small Diary #11-12 (2004-2005)
  • "Georgie Porgie" in Nursery Rhyme Comics (First Second Books, 2011)
  • "[Untitled]" in Peanuts: A Tribute to Charles M. Schulz (Boom Studios, 2015)
  • Raising a Reader! (cover only) (Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, 2013)
  • "A Conversation" in Reading With Pictures (2010)
  • Take-Out Comics #1-7 (self-published, 2000-2005)

External linksEdit


  • Hart, James. "Superheroes get bizarre treatment", The Kansas City Star, p. G18. Published 24 Feb 2015.
  • MacDonald, Heidi. "Young Cartoonists Look to the Book Market", Publishers Weekly, p. 23. Published 18 Apr 2005.
  • Schou, Solvej. "Not the 1980s anymore: popular Baby-sitter's Club books go graphic", The Canadian Press. Published 18 Apr 2006.
  1. 1.0 1.1 Azzolina, Danielle. "A Graphic Novel Smiles!", Scholastic Books/News For Kids, By Kids. Accessed 13 Sept 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Bio / Frequently Asked Questions", Accessed 13 Sept 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "A Guide to Raina Telgemeier's Sisters", Scholastic Books, p. 2. Accessed 13 Sept 2017.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Books" Accessed 13 Sept 2017.
  5. "Lulu Awards", Friends of Lulu. Accessed 13 Sept 2017.
  6. "2003 Ignatz Award Recipients", SPX: The Small Press Expo. Accessed 13 Sept 2017.
  7. "Winners & Honorees", Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards. Accessed 13 Sept 2017.
  8. "Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards!", Published 04 Oct 2010. Accessed 13 Sept 2017.
  9. "2011 Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens", Young Adult Library Services Association. Accessed 13 Sept 2017.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Eisner Award Recipients 2010-Present", Comic-Con International: San Diego. Accessed 13 Sept 2017.
  11. "Stonewall Book Awards List", GLBT Round Table. Accessed 13 Sept 2017.
  12. "2013 Rainbow Book List", Rainbow Book List. Published 28 Jan 2013. Accessed 13 Sept 2017.
  13. "Sunday Book Review Editor's Choice", The New York Times. Published 29 Aug 2014. Accessed 13 Sept 2017.
  14. "Paperback Graphic Books - Best Sellers - May 17, 2015", The New York Times. Accessed 13 Sept 2017.
  15. "Paperback Graphic Books - Best Sellers - January 29, 2017", The New York Times. Accessed 13 Sept 2017.
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