Authors: Rob Reger & Jessica Gruner
Illustrators: Rob Reger & Buzz Parker
Emily the Strange, vol. 1
My rating: 5 of 5
Emily Strange is definitely Emily Strange, even when she doesn’t know it. Which is a good thing when she finds herself alone in the tiny town of Blackrock without a clue what she’s doing there–or what her name is or how she got there or anything else about herself! This is where a genius mind, a maniacal dedication to writing down everything, and a cunning ability to win over cats and local cafe girls comes in very handy. Especially when it becomes clear that she’s in town for some purpose . . . if she could only figure it out!
I might have mentioned this before, but I love the Emily the Strange books. I admit, I’ve read them all out of order, but in this case, I almost prefer it that way. The way this (the first) volume is set up, you come into the journal right with Emily–having no idea who she is or anything about her. Granted, her character shines through even in those circumstances, and yes, it would be fun to get to know her that way . . . but I liked knowing a bit about what was going on. I think it let me focus more on what on earth’s going on (?!), you know? I really, really enjoyed the development of the story through the journalistic form–I mean, I always enjoy that in Emily’s stories, but it suits this particular volume especially well. The plot is one that would only work with a crazy, amazing girl like Emily, but here it’s absolutely brilliant. And the lists–this book is absolutely chock full of top-thirteen lists, and it’s great! And of course, the stunning, imaginative black-and-red sketches scattered throughout, here supplemented with photographic snapshots–a perfect complement to the story and writing style. Seriously, these books are underrated and I would highly recommend them, whether you start with Emily the Strange: the Lost Days or one of the later volumes in the series.