Adrian Tomine was born in Sacramento, California. At the age of twelve, he discovered the comic 'Love and Rockets' by the Hernandez Brothers and was heavily influenced by their work. In 1991, while still in high school, he started writing and drawing fictional and autobiographical stories, which he published in his first mini-comic 'Optic Nerve'.
A year later, he was hired by Pulse! Magazine to produce a monthly comic strip and a few years and six mini-comics later, publisher Drawn & Quarterly offered him to produce 'Optic Nerve' as a regular comic series. Tomine won the Harvey Award for Best New Talent for this work.
Since then, Tomine's art appeared in several magazines, including The New Yorker. Stories from 'Optic Nerve' have been adapted and performed on stage by the Inertia Ensemble in Chicago and his art has been featured by Drawn & Quarterly exhibitions in Portugal, Holland, Finland, Canada and the USA. In addition to his more than ten issues of 'Optic Nerve', Drawn & Quarterly also published the book collections '32 Stories' (a collection of his mini-comics, 1995) and 'Sleepwalk and Other Stories' (1997), as well as his graphic novels 'Summer Blond' (2002) and 'Shortcommings' (2007).