Overview

Emily the Strange #1

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Emily the Strange #1

Credits

  • Words: Rob Reger, Brian Brooks, & Jessica Gruner
  • Art: Buzz Parker and Brian Brooks
  • Inks: N/A
  • Colors: N/A
  • Story Title: Chairman of the Bored
  • Price: $7.95
  • Release Date: Aug 31, 2005

Pop culture cult favorite Emily the Strange makes her debut in comics with this prestige book from Dark Horse.

What is Emily? Is she just a bored little girl with a great big imagination? Is she a witch to be, talking to black cats and wearing all black? Is she just a little girl infatuated with gothic culture and obscure 70’s bands? Interestingly enough, none of these questions are answered in this book. Rather than just a straightforward story, this book is a collection of little short scenes detailing Emily’s remedies for boredom and extreme boredom, plus an interview through something reminiscent of dreamland, and a collection of how-to-do’s. One thing is for certain, no matter what description Emily does fall into, she certainly is strange.

The assorted writers on this book do take a very interesting approach. By not having the book tell a complete (or even portion of a) story, they instead choose to introduce Emily to the comic readers through the aforementioned collection of shorts. At their worst, some of the stories come across childishly simple and pointless, almost like something a middle school student comes up with for their art project. At their best, the stories are accentuated by their simplicity, showing actual inspiration and are punctuated by subtle complexities that ensure the book works on a few levels and will be enjoyed by those of all ages.

The artwork of the book, mostly provided by Buzz Parker, holds a very iconic feel in its character design, but truly, that might be all that’s simple about the way the book looks. The creators took special consideration to the use of the comic medium and here is where the decision to tell multiple unrelated scenes becomes a very good one. Not settling for standard comic book panel breakdown, the artwork here uses all techniques and styles. They have determined the proper way to tell each of the little segments to show off the artwork and the expressionistic world of Emily. In fact, the only things consistent throughout the book are Emily and her cats, who always look the same. And perhaps that’s one of the things that make Emily open to all ages, because she would be really creepy if she didn’t look so cute.

In the end though, Emily the Strange isn’t for everyone, because as cute as she looks, she is twice as weird. This isn’t a book for fans of superhero books only. But if you like to read books where creators take chances with their storytelling (or lack thereof), check it out; you may actually come to like Emily the Strange. And if you needed a final selling point, the book does come complete with two pages of stickers in the back.

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