Tag Archives: Buzz Parker

Emily the Strange: the Lost Days

Authors: Rob Reger & Jessica Gruneremily the strange the lost days

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.

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Emily the Strange: Stranger & Stranger

Authors: Rob Reger & Jessica GrunerStranger and Stranger

Illustrators: Rob Reger & Buzz Parker

Emily the Strange, vol. 2

My rating: 4.5 of 5

Emily and her feline companions are not thrilled to be moving yet again. Never mind that they’re a large part (okay, the whole part) of why the family has to move so frequently, what with Emily’s pranks, midnight prowls, unusual golem, and general, well, strangeness. Life in their new town of Silifordville doesn’t seem like it will be all bad though, and Emily quickly settles in to work on her most recent scientific experiment, a Duplicator. Things get very interesting when she gets a bit too reckless with said experiment and . . . duplicates herself. The possibilities are endless! But is this other Emily a new BFF and co-prankster/scientist/crazy cat-lover, or will she turn out to be a dangerous evil twin possessing a genius equal to the original?

I really, really enjoy the Emily the Strange series. They are not your average “always do the right thing, empathize with others, etc.” sort of story, for sure. What they are is quirky, funny, smart, dark, and full of self-confident girl power. Not right for everyone, I’m sure, but loads of fun in my opinion. The entire story is told in journal entries, and Emily’s unusual (extremely brainy and non-at-all socially inclined) personality shines through brilliantly throughout. This was sort of weird, but effective, in Stranger & Stranger because of some of the weirdness that occurred with the Duplicator. If you pay attention, you can definitely see differences in Emily’s personality throughout . . . very interesting indeed. I also love all the mad/brilliant science, art, rock, and feline love that permeates the story throughout. And don’t get me started on how cool all the actual art in the book is: sketches (many in red) of the most bizarre nature, diagrams, mock-photographs, etc. Plus, this particular volume has a fun band-names motif going throughout. I guess what I’m trying to say is that for those who enjoy a fun, darkly humorous, and definitely strange story with excellent art and a strong female lead (at only 13, no less!), Stranger & Stranger is definitely for you–so check it out!

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Emily the Strange: The Rock Issue

Authors/Illustrators: Rob Reger, Jessica Gruner, & Buzz Parker

Whether it’s inviting her ghost friends for tea, surviving an excruciating afternoon in traffic school, or cooking up a batch of rock soup (not necessarily intended for human consumption), Emily Strange is ready to rock. Actually in this, the fourth volume of the Emily the Strange comic book set, Emily is set to explore all things rock. As with the first volume of the comics, it’s both cool and somewhat weird to see Emily in graphic novel format. Emily the Strange: The Rock Issue is a huge mishmash of short comics, pictures, advertisements, etc. My personal favorites were the rock soup short and the two-page spread showing Emily’s cats demonstrating various rock styles. There were plenty of other interesting features, although on the whole this volume didn’t appeal to me as much as the first volume did. That’s my own fault though–I like rock, but I like a lot of other stuff just as well if not better. (Actually, as I’m writing this, I’m listening to Vocaloid–mostly Kagamines.)  So, while it will probably never be my favorite, I did find Emily the Strange: The Rock Issue to be an interesting graphic novel and one which does suit the main Emily Strange series, although in a weirder than normal way.

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Emily the Strange: Piece of Mind

Authors: Rob Reger & Jessica Gruner

Illustrators: Rob Reger & Buzz Parker

Busy, busy, BUSY! As if completing final projects for homeschool, retuning her golem, keeping her cats in line, and working on her newest line of inventions weren’t enough, Emily Strange receives a letter from her dear dead ancestors (don’t ask how that works; it’s a Dark Girl thing) telling her to take a trip to Seasidetown. Supposedly, when Emily gets there, her own Dark Girl powers–and related supply of the oh-so-useful black rock–will awaken. Unfortunately, there’s no sign of her black rock when she gets to Seasidetown. Even more unfortunately, there are wanted posters everywhere–with HER face on them!

I really enjoyed geeking out over Piece of Mind. Emily’s personality and style are supremely interesting, and the catchy journalistic writing is great fun to read. The plot is well crafted and ties together with the previous volumes enough to make if fun for someone who’s read them, but not so much as to lose someone starting out with this volume (the fourth of the set). I love the attitude, love the cats, love the random, slightly freaky scribbles. Basically, I loved Piece of Mind. Read it . . . if you’re strange enough to.

Note: Super random, but I love the haiku dedication.

 

 

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