Review: Emiko Superstar

Emiko Superstar – Mariko Tamaki, illus by Steve Rolston

Emiko’s story starts off with a gigantic girl crush on a vibrant mess of a performance artist which leads her to a weekly rave/art collective.  She forces herself out of her shell and makes a name for herself, but in the process exploits and takes for granted the people around her.  She tries on a subculture for size, and some of it sticks but some of it is just for show.

I don’t think it was until the end of this comic that I realized the author had also written Skim.  The characters are very different types of outsiders, but I can still see some similarities.  It’s interesting to compare their differences, this one being much more a story about a teenager for teenagers, and Skim being a more contemplative story about a teenager for adults.  More stuff happens in this one, and Emiko is more easily relatable than Skim was.

But at its heart, it’s still the story of a teenager who doesn’t fit in trying to figure out who her friends are and if there’s a place for her anywhere.  She doesn’t always do the right or the good thing, but even when her motives are selfish, she’s not a monster.  Also, it’s nice when Minx books were written by women and have female characters who actually seem like real teenage girls.


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