Emiko Superstar
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Emiko Superstar

3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  630 ratings  ·  106 reviews
A borrowed diary, a double life, and identity issues fuel a teenager's quest to find herself before she cracks and commits social suicide, in this new series written especially for girls. Young adult.
Paperback, 176 pages
Published October 14th 2008 by Minx (first published October 7th 2008)
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The Holy Terror
I'm not picking graphic novels all that well it seems. At least not every time. It's true, I don't read the synopsis and just look at the cover and briefly flip through the book to check the artwork, so I suppose it's my own fault for picking another "lonely emo girl finds a boy who finally 'gets' her and disappoints her parents to 'find herself' with a ragtag group of misfits." This wasn't as extreme in those regards as Ivy was, but this actually ended up lacking substance in spite of that.

I...more
Colleen Venable
I pretty much loved everything about this book, from the fantastic character designs (both in personality and in actual visual portrayal-woo for chunkier protagonists whose storyline never talks about the fact that she isn't a twig!), to the story itself which was layered in amazing ways most YA novels don't ever attempt. Thought-provoking and inspirational, not to mention being a damn fine read. A MUST READ for anyone who secretly or not so secretly is an art freak at heart. One complaint: cove...more
Toby
Cybils YA Graphic Novel Award winner
I surprised myself by being engaged by this iconic YA search for identity where Emi, a self-proclaimed geek, dares to attend a Freak Show, after being captivated by its star, the Amazing Poppy Galore, at a mall. At this point in the story, the words fail and the image takes over: Poppy is full-page glorious, "covered in silver and pieces of mirror. Like a disco ball..." Emi dares to dream that even she could remake herself into Emiko Superstar.
I noticed so...more
Sarah Sammis
Emiko Superstar by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Steve Rolston won the YA Graphic Novel category of the Cybils earlier this year.

Emiko is a geeky and awkward teenager who wants to find her place in the world. She's an Asian Canadian growing up in Toronto. The book covers her summer vacation where she is baby sitting for a dysfunctional family and spending her nights as a performance artist in a club that draws its influence from Andy Warhol's Factory.

Emiko Superstar drew me into the story wit...more
Alarra
Minx. I had serious issues with what Emi does - she copies out diary entries of the young trapped suburban mother she's babysitting for, and turns that woman's pain into performance art in order to impress a bunch of sleazy disaffected hipsters. She never owns to her dishonesty, and while there are happy endings all round, it just doesn't sit right with me.
Cathy
I LOVED this one! Emiko doesn't really fit into any mold and she feels out of place where ever she is, which I can totally relate to. She is labeled a nerd/geek, but she's not really, she's just uncomfortable around people. Her summer is typical. Lousy. While at the mall she has an experience that changes her life... and no, its not a sale at the Gap.

I loved the story. In high school I was uncomfortable and unsure of how to act. The one thing that I loved to do was write. It was the perfect outl...more
Kirsten
I picked this up at the library and started flipping through. Only after a close look at the back cover did I realize that I have read another of Tamaki's graphic novels, Skim. I liked Skim, but it seemed a little light-weight and unfocused. This book definitely comes out of the same ethos as Skim. Emi is a geek who doesn't even fit in with the other geeks. She almost accidentally stumbles upon this non-conformist group of people, where each person is weirder than the last and many are performer...more
Meghan
The fate of the Minx imprint is really a crying shame. For an all-too-brief moment, DC Comics was publishing these fantastic narratives about teenage girls who were not even remotely the assumed norm, delivered in the form of extremely viewable and readable graphic art. Sadly, these books were published under a false imprimis ("'Minx'? Srsly???") and not under any other and didn't have a great fate.

This is a great story about being mixed-race, about transitioning from one grade to another and no...more
Snorkle
I did not get this story and I thought it was stupid. I never felt for the main character and I thought that some of the things she did were downright irresponsible and reckless. I couldn't fathom why the author of this book would want us to then applaud these things the girl did. The illustrations were okay, but because of the rest of the story I just couldn't bring myself to enjoy them. I got really frustrated with the main character and I just wanted her to grow up. I would not recommend this...more
Yellowinkling
Jan 26, 2014 Yellowinkling added it
Shelves: comics
Fantastic art, great characters, unique plot and setting. All the ingredients of a great graphic novel.

Now, past all the meat and potatoes, I just have to say it: I LOVED Emi. I wished I could meet her, and talk to her for hours. I think most geeky girls would feel this way. Us girl-geeks all go through what Emi does and we all wonder and wrestle with the same things. Not all of us, though, are as hilarious as Emi. I wish I had the same wry humor as her - and her courage!

I only wish it was longe...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
This description on the back says it all:
"Watch Emi go from dull suburban babysitter to eclectic urban performance artist."

A quick read of a graphic novel, it could have gone deeper in a bunch of directions. I was actually surprised it was stand alone because I would have liked to know more of the story of the woman she babysat for, as well as Poppy. Of course, I've read that Minx Books isn't around anymore, so perhaps any plans that were there fell through.
Melissa
This graphic novel was just kind of 'meh' for me. I wish the story was a bit more fleshed out. I did appreciate that Emi is a chubby girl, but no one talks about it because it isn't an issue, and I liked her artsy tendencies (despite the fact that her art was stolen from someone else). I think it's probably good for teenagers (the target audience), but I would have liked to see more.
Kathy
Shy Emiko decides to not hang out w/ her fellow geeks over the summer, which starts out crappy. Then she hears about a performance art freak show, and gradually starts blossoming. There's theft, balancing a geek friend w/ being w/ the "in" crowd, and finding her own voice.
Sundry
Good story. Kind of made me excited about writing and making art again. Thanks, Mariko.

Also nice previews of other books published by Minx Books in the back. I'll look for these titles.
Veronica
If I had read this BEFORE reading "Skim" and "This One Summer," I may have been more generous with the stars. Real rating 3.5. I really love Tamaki's characters and there is always something in them that I *get* (which makes me think maybe she and I had similar teen years. ;D) BUT this one is not as good as the others. It feels more childish, less poignant, which may be the point, I don't know. Twelve or thirteen year old me probably would have adored it.

It is also sadly lacking in Jillian Tamak...more
Lisamarie
A lot of the "Minx" books just make me feel kind of, um, old? But this one is special.
Courtney
A fun, light-hearted graphic novel by one of the authors of "Skim". Emiko self-identifies as a geek and has typically been OK with being in the background. Her summer is promising to be boring, the only thing getting her out of the house being her babysitting job for a young couple. One day, she witnesses a unique girl making a scene by dancing and tossing out flyers advertising a freak show. In spite of her hesitations, Emiko is intrigued and eventually makes her way to the club where she is ut...more
edh
Emiko is in the middle of the summer that will change her life. After being fired from her job as a whip girl at a froufrou drinks store and being saddled with babysitting when her parents demand that she do something productive, Emi has no real direction. Stumbling on the Freak Show makes her believe that there might be something more for her - that she might have some sort of artistic ability. Part rave, part vaudeville: the Freak Show features performances that defy normal conventions (and oc...more
Brittany
Emiko didn't start off as a superstar. She started off as just a girl with a summer job. Was a whip girl then a babysitter. This was before she saw Poppy in the mall. After that Emiko went to go see the Freaks and what a sight they were. She meets a guy named Henry that tells her she can fall in with that crowd to, if she only tries and wows. So she tries, because she wants to create something. Emiko wants to find herself and the freaks might just help her.

This was an interesting little tale abo...more
Orchid
So I have no read almost all of the graphic novels that were published by DC Comics, Minx imprint (which is sadly no longer around).

For this review I'm just going to get right down to nitty gritty of what I thought about it. I ask that y’all also bear with me if my review reads weird today; I've had a case of bad allergies and a little bit of a cold (and have been taking Benadryl).

While I really like the underlying message of Emiko Superstar, I find that on a whole I only kind of liked it. I kn...more
Johnathan Morris
Emiko Superstar is a wonderfully written and drawn graphic novel about a young girl, half-white and half-Japanese, searching for a little acceptance in a very unlikely place: where everyone is perceived to be weird. Reading the book, I found the personal growth of the character Emiko to be similar to my own, and I think young readers may feel the same way as well.

The story provided an insight to a little piece of art history tucked away in cities everywhere. Places where people can go to be as e...more
jess
Ok, first of all, I love the MINX books. I know they aren't perfect, but they go a long way for me. I like them not only because I read them nostalgically for my teenage self, who probably would have loved them, but also because I think they are just cute, interesting stories that are a nice breather from un-minx books. When I read in September that Minx is giving up the ghost, I felt genuinely bummed. I'm glad my local library carries a bunch of Minx titles so I can work through the cannon afte...more
Eva Mitnick
As a Very Quiet high school student, I just wanted to be invisible. Well, even more invisible than I already was. Except maybe to the couple of boys I had crushes on. It wasn’t until college that I became enamored of the long-defunct world of Andy Warhol and Lou Reed and dreamed of tramping around seedy NYC streets smoking too many cigarettes. The vision ended there, but it had enough aesthetic appeal to cause me to keep my hair very short and very black for quite some time. Fishnets, boots, and...more
Caroline
I picked this up a while ago but forgot I had it. This was one of the last comics from DC's late, lamented Minx line of manga-sized comics aimed with teenage female protagonists(I don't want to call them books 'for' or even 'aimed at' girls because anyone can enjoy them).

This story about Emiko, a biracial Canadian teenager, and self-professed geek who decides to reinvent herself as a performance artist. Mariko Tamaki has written an emotionally complex story bursting with very specific details,...more
Jamie
I didn't think I was going to like this book as much as I did when I first started reading it. The whole "freak" scene didn't really strike me as very convincing, but as with Mariko Tamaki's other recent graphic novel, Skim, the main character was so wonderfully realized, the trappings of the story hardly even mattered. My problem with many of the Minx titles has been that I felt they stopped short, that the growth the protagonists were experiencing wasn't given a full arc. Not so here. Emiko go...more
Andrea Blythe
3 and 1/2 stars

Emily is a lonely geek, who discovered the Freak Factory, a dumpy, garbage strewn hangout, where people come to perform and let their weirdness shine. Enamored by the dancer Poppy, Emily finds courage to take the stage and become Emiko the superstar, even if only for a short while.

This is definitely a young adult comic/graphic novel with a simple, uplifting storyline. It's not deep and there is no sense of complexity. But it's a well put together story and Emily is likeable. And...more
Celena
I did not like this novel at all. It is possible that I'm not part of its "target audience", but the story itself has no real substance, the protagonist is insufferable, and the subplot, that bit about the broken family, isn't as developed as I hoped it would be. There was some real potential there, but, alas, we can't always get what we want.
Sam
This was a quick and cute read. Emiko is a geek trying to fit in and she meets a group of "freaks" and begins participating in an illegal theater wherein she steals diary entries from her employers wife (who's having an affair) and using it for poetry. It's a fairly straightforward comic, and Emiko is quite likeable as she's always trying to find ways to do the things she's never done before but also understand the types of consequences she must face. The art is all right, though it has it's mom...more
Allison
Ok. I loved this story--as a starting point for a longer story. "Nerdy" Emily doesn't fit in and basically has no friends. A flier blows into her hands one summer afternoon advertising a Freak Show of sorts. Gathering all the courage she can muster, she attends the freak and then goes again and again until she is finally ready to participate as a performer. But I'm a demanding reader. There are interesting supporting characters in this Minx graphic novel that deserve more character development....more
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Mariko Tamaki is a Toronto writer, playwright, activist and performer. She works and performs with fat activists Pretty Porky and Pissed Off and the theatre troupe TOA, whose recent play, A vs. B, was staged at the 2004 Rhubarb Festival at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. Her well-received novel, Cover Me (McGilligan Books) was followed by a short fiction collection, True Lies: The Book of Bad Advice...more
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Skim This One Summer (You) Set Me on Fire True Lies: The Book Of Bad Advice Fake ID

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