SANPAKU was inspired by my childhood in the suburbs of Houston, Texas, where I was surrounded by my classmates at a small Catholic school and my religious immigrant family. Marcine is at the point in her adolescence where she is constantly questioning what she is taught, and in effort to find something of her own to believe in, she ends up clinging to the idea of sanpaku and finding its cure. I wanted to write a book about the people I know the best: the quiet girl in class whose imagination is running at hyper-speed, the lola who is a master shoplifter, the upright Catholic who is constantly letting herself down, and the bitchy best friend who will never forgive you for seeing her crap in the sandbox in kindergarten. SANPAKU is a look into their world, told through the eyes of Marcine, a perpetually confused twelve year-old who at the end of the day, just misses her grandma.
"Marcine’s desire to find order in the confusing ordeals of adolescence resonates, and her cynical yet naive worldview provides a deadpan humor to a unique coming-of-age story." – Publisher's Weekly
"Gavino’s peculiar coming-of-age tale spans cultural, religious, and dietary divides." – The Stranger
"Sanpaku is an even exploration of the awkward age where childhood has ended but adulthood has not yet begun, influenced by thoughts on race, culture, religion, food and language." – Paste Magazine
“The beautifully illustrated book, with its intricate patterned background reminiscent of origami paper, and stark black and white images, creatively tells the story of an imaginative girl who is trying to come into her own.” – The International Examiner
"Cartoonist Kate Gavino is primed to be one of her generation’s most refreshing and honest voices in comics. Her worlds are tremendously fun and unabashedly insightful." – Sierra Hahn, Senior Editor, BOOM! Studios