EmiTown (Image – Lenox)
From the whimsical to the tragic, EMI LENOX brings you into her world with superb cartooning, a brilliant cast of characters, and an innocent perspective often left on the cutting room floor of other diary comics. With a broad range of styles, everyday is an adventure from the morning breakfast burrito to metaphoric tales of superheroes and battlefields of love. Emi proves that life is never dull in her first annual collection of EmiTown!
Based out of her hometown, Portland, Oregon, Emi has spent the last year doodling everyday in her diary sketchbook and taking on internships within the comics community. Having been raised on manga (via her Japanese mother) she has dreamed about becoming a cartoonist at a young age. In her early twenties the works of Jeff Smith, Adrian Tomine, and Craig Thompson entered her life and super inspiration struck! This is Emi’s first published work.
This book caught me by surprise. I’m not a manga fan, not into anthropomorphic animal characters, and definitely not a “cute animals with thought bubbles” type of guy… but it only took a few pages into this book before I was very happy that I took a trip to EmiTown.
Emi Lenox is a thoughtful, insightful and creative individual who has shared with the reading public her thoughts on… well on almost everything that is day to day and mundane. Emi visualizes for her readers her daydreams, the very same types that I think we all have. She then, through the use of her sketches and visual storytelling, maps the cognitive trail from small observations triggering random thoughts (which my wife would tell you I am the king of) to how those thoughts possibly culminate into statements about personal philosophy and into ideas that run much deeper than simply “what an odd shaped water bottle”. From snippits on video games to food to footwear Emi spawns some very emotionally real narratives about friendships, loss and her outlook on a person’s purpose in this world.
This sketchbook is a collection of daily strips from her web comic here, and in short is a daily journal of her adventures in the day to day. Like I eluded to above, I almost didn’t read this, just because the “magna” nature of what the art looks like. While it is not favorite, Emi pulls off this style of art and design with expertise – I found myself wanting to see how she would visualize or represent a certain idea, emotion or situation. To all the potential readers out there who do not normally go to the “non-caped” part of the comic store, do not let this be a barrier to you reading EmiTown, you will enjoy it!
I am adding EmiTown to my list of books to share with my friends who are English teachers who are trying to use graphic novels and graphic story-telling in their classes. I think this would be a phenomenal freshman read!
The bottom line: EmiTown is a delight to read and an excellent comic for those who are not normally comic fans.
Grade: an insightful and furry A
This comes out November17th! Never too soon to think about what good books to give for Christmas presents!
Ask about it at your local independently-owned comic shop!
DIAMOND ORDER CODE: AUG100439