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Raina Telgemeier was born May 26, 1977 in San Francisco. In her pre-teen years, Telgemeier suffered a serious mouth injury that required several years of dental and orthodontic surgery. In addition, she was also viciously teased by her friends for this medical treatment, prompting to her to partially withdraw into her love of drawing until she lost her patience with the abuse when they publicly humiliated her. 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, and currently lives in Queens, New York. She lists Jeff Smith, Lynn Johnston and Adrian Tomine among her influences. She is married to Dave Roman, who is also a cartoonist.