Adrian Tomine (b. May 31, 1974 in Sacramento, California) is a comic book author and artist most famous for Optic Nerve.

Tomine started self-publishing Optic Nerve when he was 16, and four years later began publishing them through Drawn and Quarterly. He's also done single strips for Reactor Girl, Hate!, Details, and Entertainment Weekly, as well as illustrations for George, Jane, and the New Yorker. He also has done cover art for The Softies, The Crabs, and Eels. A collection of his pre-D&Q strips was published as 32 Stories, and the first four D&Q issues were published together as Sleepwalk and other Stories.

Optic Nerve is generally a series of unconnected dramatic vignettes, drawn in a clean, stark manner very reminiscent of Dan Clowes (Eightball). Tomine also lists Jaime Hernandez (Love and Rockets) as one of his main influences. Personally, I really like the style of the drawings and think Tomine is an excellent storyteller. A quote from the D&Q website:

"… concise, haunting tales of modern life. The characters here appear to be well-adjusted on the surface, but Tomine takes us deeper into their lives, subtly examining their struggle to connect with friends and lovers."

The E2 Super-Fantastic Mega-Terrific Adrian Tomine Bibliography

There doesn't seem to be a comprehensive bibliography of comic artist Adrian Tomine anywhere on the Internet, so this is my attempt at one. Any input or additional information is appreciated.

Some background: Tomine started publishing his comic Optic Nerve (hereafter known as ON) in 1991, at age 17. It was a self-published mini-comic and in the next three years seven issues were published, its circulation growing from 25 to several thousand. In 1994 Tomine signed up with Drawn and Quarterly and continued to do Optic Nerve as a regular-sized comic, starting again from issue #1. The Optic Nerve mini-comics were collected in their entirety as 32 Stories, but have been purposely left out of print as single issues. My only information regarding the mini-comics comes from 32 Stories, which doesn't indicate the issue each story was originally published in and only a few of the comics themselves are dated. The current run of Optic Nerve has so far been collected in Sleepwalk and Other Stories and Summer Blonde.


Optic Nerve mini-comics

  1. August 1991
  2. November 1991
  3. January 1992
  4. June 1992
  5. February 1993
  6. September 1993
  7. August 1994

Optic Nerve #1
Published in April 1995, all stories are collected in Sleepwalk and Other Stories

  1. Sleepwalk
  2. Echo Ave.
  3. Long Distance
  4. Drop
  5. Lunch Break

Optic Nerve #2
Published in November 1995, all stories are collected in Sleepwalk and Other Stories

  1. The Connecting Thread
  2. Summer Job
  3. Pink Frosting
  4. Layover

Optic Nerve #3
Published in August 1996, all stories are collected in Sleepwalk and Other Stories

  1. Dylan & Donovan
  2. Supermarket
  3. Hostage Situation
  4. Unfaded

Optic Nerve #4
Published in April 1997, all stories are collected in Sleepwalk and Other Stories

  1. Six Day Cold
  2. Fourth of July
  3. Hazel Eyes

Optic Nerve #5
Published in February 1998, collected in Summer Blonde

  1. Alter Ego

Optic Nerve #6
Published in February 1999, collected in Summer Blonde

  1. Hawaiian Getaway

Optic Nerve #7
Published in June 2000, collected in Summer Blonde

  1. Summer Blonde

Optic Nerve #8
Published in February 2001, collected in Summer Blonde, reprinted in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2002

  1. Bomb Scare

32 Stories
Published in softcover in January 1995

  1. Man's Best (1991)
  2. Birdnoise
  3. Adrian Tomine's 10,553rd Dream (1991)
  4. Solitary Enjoyment (1992)
  5. Heat Wave Death
  6. Sean's Story
  7. Disappointment and Despair
  8. Back Break (1991)
  9. Patriotism is Alive and Kicking (1991)
  10. Rodney (1992)
  11. This is a True Story
  12. Adrian Quits His Job
  13. All Choked Up (1992)
  14. Psycho Cook
  15. An Everyday Triumph (1991)
  16. Kerouac's Life with Comics (1992)
  17. Train I Ride
  18. Haircut (1992)
  19. Lifter (1993)
  20. Mike the Mod (1992)
  21. Two in the Morning (1993)
  22. My Appearance on the Jane Pratt Show (1993)
  23. Leather Jacket (1993)
  24. Allergic (1993)
  25. Smoke (1993)
  26. The Sell-out (1993)
  27. Stammer (1994)
  28. Happy Anniversary (1994)
  29. Laundry (1994)
  30. Sleep = Waste (1994)
  31. Dine and Dash (1994)
  32. Grind (1994)

Sleepwalk and Other Stories
Collects Optic Nerve #1-#4, published in signed/numbered hardcover edition in 1997, softcover edition in October 1998

  1. Sleepwalk (ON #1)
  2. Echo Ave. (ON #1)
  3. Long Distance (ON #1)
  4. Drop (ON #1)
  5. Lunch Break (ON #1)
  6. Summer Job (ON #2)
  7. The Connecting Thread (ON #2)
  8. Pink Frosting (ON #2)
  9. Layover (ON #2)
  10. Supermarket (ON #3)
  11. Hostage Situation (ON #3)
  12. Dylan & Donovan (ON #3)
  13. Unfaded (ON #3)
  14. Six Day Cold (ON #4)
  15. Fourth of July (ON #4)
  16. Hazel Eyes (ON #4)

Summer Blonde
Collects Optic Nerve #5-#8, published in hardcover and signed/numbered hardcover in July 2002, softcover in July 2003

  1. Alter Ego (ON #5)
  2. Summer Blonde (ON #7)
  3. Hawaiian Getaway (ON #6)
  4. Bomb Scare (ON #8, reprinted in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2002)

Info compiled from the Drawn and Quarterly website (www.drawnandquarterly.com), graphic novels cited and Amazon.com.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.