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Emily and the Strangers Volume 1: Battle of the Bands Hardcover – May 6, 2014
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As expressionless as Hello Kitty, this knock-off Wednesday Addams seems to be the silent mascot of punky young Hot Topic crowd.
Usually appearing in monotone reds and blacks in her other books, Emily now has varying - though a bit muted - colors splashing her gloomy little world in this nifty new graphic novel. Not only that; Emily herself even seems to crack a tiny, wee ghost of a smile as well as openly display a few other recognizable moods when she actually goes out into sunlight and fresh air to make friends with other kids her own age.
Here Emily is portrayed as a mad scientist who also likes to invent some insane but clever gadgets in her secret laboratory. Amazingly, they SOMETIMES work - right before the ever-multiplying, free-range cats completely DESTROY them right before her eyes. Oh, well...back to the drawing board then.
In this story, Emily wants to win an enchanted guitar once owned by a deceased rock star as a prize offered by the radio contest. But the big catch is that she HAS to be in a band consisting of at least four members AND also win the big battle of bands to KEEP the cursed toy. Not only that; a sexy-looking young boy holding the much-craved guitar at the radio station slyly persuades the reluctant little recluse to join his band, too.
It is an elegant little piece of work where an arrogant tween-aged "cat lady" eventually learns to get along with other talented young musicians and even works with them to develop a memorable band with giant, souped-up instruments and a little advice from the spirit of the dearly departed rock-'n'-roll legend.
The characters themselves are drawn like adorable little dolls and the art in general is filled with some truly eye-popping details inside (and also outside) the deftly arranged panels.
There are also a few bonus sketches/conceptual artwork of the characters/musical instruments at the end of the book, BTW.
When one of Emily's favorite musicians, Professa Kraken, dies. She finds out about a contest where she can when his guitar, a strange steampunk invention with multiple necks and things growing out of it. She submits a tape and wins the contest, or so she thinks. The small print says she also has to win a battle of the bands. She finds herself in a band full of people who have their own ideas of what music should be. Is it classical, punk, jazz or rock? Will this band of misfits gel as a band in time to win the contest?
It's not a bad story, but perhaps a bit too predictable. The lessons about getting along with others and playing to their strengths is good. It wasn't what I would have expected from this character, but it didn't seem out of type for her. Emily Ivie does a great job with art and there is lots of supplemental material in back, including Ivie's wallpaper designs for the book.
I was given a review copy of this graphic novel by Diamond Book Distributors and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.
Most recent customer reviews
She is so spunky and bad-ass, and her personality is so awesome.Read more
The synopsis looked fun and promising.Read more
Although this is my first Emily the Strange graphic novel, I have always liked her as a character.Read more