Review: Emily and the Strangers #3 (of 3)

This series is definitely different from previous Emily the Strange stories I’ve read, but in a way it’s the next evolution of the series. It introduces a supporting cast and expands the marketability of the franchise. To be honest I’m a sucker for any comic that tackles the subject of music and this series has done that well. Previously, Emily was not getting along with her band mates. They’re sound just wasn’t meshing and she was causing a lot of fights due to her desire to not interact or rely on other people. They decide to regroup and figure out the problem with their sound by holding a séance for Professa Kraken. It works as a mystical looking Kraken appears and due to his connection to his old guitar is aware of the situation. He begins to give each of the band members feedback, basically telling them what they’re doing right in the band and what the need to work on. With Emily it’s a bit more complicated as he takes her somewhere else, a place where she can see the “rock.”

Emily and the Strangers #3 CoverIt’s a good issue even if it’s a bit corny. I mean it’s not like Kraken shows up and tells them all their no talent hacks or anything. Overall the entire message of the issue and series has been positive and in a strange way Emily “the loner” has become Emily “the leader.” I don’t know how that rubs the fan base, but I kind of found it to be unrealistic and out of character. The writing is geared towards a tween or younger audience and just misses the all-ages mark. To be true all-ages the story needs to have something that everyone can enjoy and there is nothing here for an adult reader to enjoy unless you’re desperately seeking a positive message in your life.

The art finishes strong. I enjoy the thick line work and bright color palate that the series has had. Each character has their own unique color and it works considering I couldn’t remember all of their names until Kracken filled me in. The only thing that suffers with the art is that the characters basically stand around a lot due to the amount of dialog the story has. I would really have liked to see them rocking out more and a variety of angles instead of the same old, same old.

It’s a pretty average comic book and that’s not a bad thing. Like I said it’s geared towards a younger audience, but if you’re an Emily the Strange fan then you’ll likely dig it. I’m curious to see what the follow-up to this will be or if the actual music project that was funded on Kickstarter a few months back will become the focus. Either way it should be interesting. If you missed out on the series, but you’re a fan, then I’d wait for the trade.

Score: 3/5

Writers: Mariah Huehner & Rob Reger

Artist: Emily Ivie

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Price: $3.99

Release Date: 7/3/13