by Victoria Irwin
If you’ve wandered into a Hot Topic store sometime in the past five years, you’ve no doubt seen a raven haired little girl and her black cats emblazoned on everything from t-shirts to backpacks. Emily the Strange now comes to us in comic form, accompanied by Sabbath and her many other cats.
The story begins with a bored Emily traipsing around her brain and laboratory to find the perfect invention to leave her mark on the world, or just keep her busy for the next few days. When she hears about a contest to win the haunted guitar of her favorite deceased rock star, Emily knows what she has to do; she must create the coolest song ever and win the guitar for herself. Difficulties abound, Emily discovers there’s more to getting that guitar than she imagined.
Mariah Hughner and Rob Reger give us a strangely sweet, yet oddly morbid story of a little goth girl and her feline companions. Between Emily’s eureka moments we often find cats throwing parties, knocking over inventions, or even saving the day. I’m a particular fan of their work with the cat Sabbath who constantly seems to be lovingly directing Emily’s plans without her realizing it.
Emily Ivie’s art is adorable and intricate, weaving so many details in at some points that you just want to sit and memorize every single detail. She makes references to Escher, then moves to the lab of a mad scientist and then into a normal looking street. Ivie uses drab colors when she uses color at all. Emily is black and white always, her surroundings and props usually in pale greens, oranges or soft browns. The simple designs of the cats makes them all the more menacing; their anime-like eyes are particularly creepy in some sequences.
The issue is intended to be a fun adventure, especially for the morbidly inclined. If you’re a fan of Emily, prepare to be delighted. If you’ve never heard of her, now is the time.