Review: Emily and the Strangers: Battle of the Bands

Junior High me, was obsessed with everything “Emily the Strange” and all the merch at hottopic and I still got a little soft spot for the franchise. I totally wanted to be a misunderstood goth kid with kitties following me around like Emily. Yea, I even did the red and black striped socks like her. “Emily and the Strangers,” is a perfect portrayal of a misfit kid with a rock n roll side. Emily has some serious engineering skills with her edgy and a little out there inventions.  I dig that her character is not only artsy and weird but also kind of a genius. She’s got a little bit of that mad scientist vibe about her, I like it.

Emily and the Strangers starts off with Emily trying to compose the most bad ass punk song in order for her to win a haunted guitar. Pretty much every kids dream, right?

Well she ends up having the winning song but there is a bit of a catch. Her song was mixed by some duded named Evan the strange and Emily is definitely not happy about this.  On top of that, for her to keep the guitar she has to win “Battle of the Bands,” which means working with other people including Evan.  Emily does things her own way and she does them alone, so this becomes a difficult task for her.

21379 copy 2So with her on her way to band practice, she runs into an old acquaintance, you could say. Well she is actually a humanish robot that Emily built. To Emily’s dismay the robot actually has some mad skills with the drums; so she tags along to band practice.

Not surprisingly, the band pretty much sucks. None of them can mesh and just sounds like noise causing quite a bit of band drama.  Emily decides they need to do something drastic, like summon the original owner of the guitar from the dead for some rock n roll advice. He gives them some wise words but ultimately they need another member.  Will this help them achieve their rock dreams? Will Emily learn to work with others? I’ll let you find out!

I’m guessing the audience for this comic is the younger crowd with the whole moral of the story vibe; which I really enjoyed it but I think it would be entertaining if it was a bit more dark humor.  Although I did really like Emily’s lingo and use of “zonks” as a verb and adjective.

So let’s talk about the illustrations. It was spot on, the way each character had their own steampunky style it definitely added to the quirky feel of the comic.  Also, my favorite aspect of the illustrations was the blue prints of Emily’s inventions set as the background in some of the panels. Again, I think that adds to her character and gives it a mechanical look.

Score: 4/5

Writers: Mariah Huehner and Rob Reger Artist: Emily Ivie Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $12.99 Release Date: 5/14/14 Format: Hardcover/Digital