Maybe it’s weird for a comic to get it’s start as an advertising mascot for a clothing company has, but there have been stranger things. Which is fitting since that’s not the only unorthodox thing, not by a long-shot, when talking about Emily the Strange or its newest lineup addition, Emily and the Strangers.
An all-ages comic that will actually appeal to readers of all ages is a very rare thing, but within these pages are just that. An independent and strong female character, Emily has the makings of a great role-model: she’s a young genius, unwilling to be intimidated and goes after what she wants. So what if she’s a mad scientist with four cats as her only companions and might break a few laws, especially those of time and nature?
Emily and the Strangers breathes new life into this dark and gothic comic with the help of Mariah Heuhner and Rob Reger. Mariah and Rob balance just enough crazy when talking to her cats – who seem to understand her, though still mess with her – with her witty and funny monologues makes Emily instantly endearing. It’s not all fun and explosion in Emily and the Strangers, she has a problem – too many ideas. Maybe not a problem for most people, but for a mad scientist it’s dangerous.
Luckily a distraction comes after Sabbath, the cat with the tear in her left ear, turns the radio on in time to hear an advertisement to win the guitar of the late Professor Kraken. Being a fan of Kraken’s music Emily quickly sets her mind on winning the guitar. With her usually gusto she attacks the problem head on, with her cats causing all kinds of problems.
As nice as the writing is, it’s Emily Ivie’s stunningly detailed and rich art work that steals the show. The dense images often demanded a second look through all the gears, beakers and bulbs. It’s beautiful Steampunk fans dream incarnate. Emily and the Strangers has some of the most varied and striking art design in recent history. Her use of bright colors is measured and made all the more powerful for its limited use. It’s rare to see a page with more than a few eye-catching colors, so you know it’s important when there is a section of colors drawing your attention.
Emily gains her mystical tentacled guitar, along with an unexpected addition in the shape of a young blue-haired boy. Evan, stage name Evan Strange, just wants to rock and it seems like Emily might have met her match in wit and drive. I can’t wait to see what new crazy new adventures these kids get into, along with the insane(ly) wonderful artwork. Even without a background knowledge of Emily and the Strangers‘ origins, the series is easy to picked up for newcomers and I highly recommend readers of all ages give this issue a read.
See Emily and the Strangers mentioned on Comic Station Issue #5 along with video of more of the great artwork and other new releases.