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'I do a lot of eavesdropping': Supergirl writer Mariko Tamaki on writing realistic teenage dialogue

Canadian artist and writer Mariko Tamaki explains how she captured the teenage voice for DC Comics' new Supergirl graphic novel, Being Super.
Canadian artist and writer Mariko Tamaki explains how she captured the teenage voice for DC Comics' new Supergirl graphic novel, Being Super. (Courtesy of Mariko Tamaki, DC Comics)
Listen15:41

Writing young adult fiction is a deceptively hard job. Very few authors can successfully capture the voice of a teenager (without sounding like they're trying too hard) or write about young people in a realistic way, but Canadian artist and writer Mariko Tamaki can.

Tamaki wrote the graphic novels This One Summer and Skim with her cousin Jillian Tamaki. Lately, she's sharing her skills with DC Comics — home of Batman and Wonder Woman — for their new Supergirl comic, Being Super. Like a lot of her work, it's a coming-of-age story, except this time, the teenager can fly. 

In a conversation with Tom Power, Tamaki shares her thoughts on speaking authentically, and explains what it takes to write realistic teenage dialogue. Her new graphic novel Supergirl: Being Super, is out now. 

Produced by Vanessa Greco

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