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Emiko Superstar

3.64  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,033 Ratings  ·  135 Reviews
Emiko is a teenager on a quest to find herself who goes from suburban babysitter to eclectic urban performance artist.
Paperback, 149 pages
Published November 28th 2008 by [New York] : Minx, ©2008. (first published October 7th 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,867)
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Emiko's summer looks like this: babysit all day, hang out with her own parents at home in the evening, rinse, repeat. It's pretty dull, but the babysitting gig pays well.

But then Emiko sees a charismatic artiste called Poppy at the mall, and Poppy personally invites her to the Freak Show, held in an abandoned warehouse on Friday nights.

Emiko isn't a freak. Not exactly. But could she be?
This is a tiny book that manages to cover a lot of emotional ground and pack a pretty big punch.

Emiko is l
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
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.

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
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
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
Dec 22, 2010 Meghan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
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
David Schaafsma
Apr 03, 2015 David Schaafsma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gn-ya
If I had not first read Skim and This One Summer I might have liked this more, but this title, in the Minx series for young girls, while well written, does not have sister Jillian Tamaki as artist, which seems like the perfectly in sync collaborative team for both of them. This one is about an insider your chooses to be an insider, or a geek who wants to be a geek, or something like that. Fine writing of story and dialogue by Matiko Tamaki, and just okay art.
May 23, 2009 Alarra rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, graphicnovel
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.
Feb 16, 2009 jess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jul 28, 2015 Andréa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this in my attempt to track down more girl-centric graphic novels at the library to suggest to patrons. It's a fun read and might appeal to the girls who like Drama.
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
J.M.M. Nuanez
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
This was ok. Not great, but not bad either. It was an enjoyable hour reading it.
Emiko is a little bored with being a nerd. She's not against nerd things, but she thinks there is more to her than just RPG and math contests. She gives in to an urge to go to the Freak Show, and artsy underground show held at The Factory, where she sees counter culture kids of all stripes performing on stage, and realizes that is something she desperately wants to do. She doesn't sing or dance or do puppets or any of the odd performance art popular at the Freak Show, and she's not sure what to ...more
Amanda Foust
Apr 05, 2014 Amanda Foust rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I miss Minx.
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.
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.
Mar 30, 2015 Andria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novel
Reading this, I was struck by the skilled and lovely way it depicted that on-the-verge feeling of adolescence: still partly shrouded in the innocence of childhood but peeking behind the curtain at the mysterious adult world, simultaneously hungry for and overwhelmed by it, and knowing that it's all about to start happening whether you're ready for it or not. It's the same tone the author conveyed in This One Summer but with a slightly older protagonist.

The whole Factory scene, with its dreadloc
Nov 25, 2014 Pamela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love love love this book. It so perfectly captures those strange teenage moments when complete re-invention is still possible - a grungy club and a handful of freaks is a portal to a completely new world.

Actually, I didn't realize until just now how much this reminds me of Blake Nelson's Girl, which has been one of my favourites for twenty years.

It's exciting though, to have a story of a young woman out on a self-propelled exploration that also avoids all the boring cliches of the genre. Ins
Apr 08, 2009 Kathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, graphicnovel
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.
Emiko is a shy teenager who decides she wants to be a performance artist at a local Toronto hot spot. Unfortunately, she isn't bold or outspoken or particularly show-worthy, and in order to be those things she commits some ethical missteps. She's also exposed to the sleazy, misguided, and/or dumb behavior of others, from her fellow performers to the Svengali curator of the show. Happily, there's one bright light in all this--a boy who looks out for her, keeps in touch with her, and is still ther ...more
Feb 13, 2010 Sundry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic, fiction
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.
Feb 07, 2016 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Como é que uma história tão simples conquistou-me desta maneira?

Não sei explicar.

Gostei de tudo.

Do traço.
Do enredo.
Das personagens.
Do início.
E fim.

Uma delícia de comic.
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
May 10, 2009 Lisamarie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A lot of the "Minx" books just make me feel kind of, um, old? But this one is special.
Skye Kilaen
This was one of the books from the ill-fated D.C. Comics line called Minx, designed to appeal to teen girls. Despite the heavy rotation of youth graphic novels in most libraries, somehow D.C. couldn’t make enough money on Minx to continue it. (?!?!) Emiko Superstar was one of the best from this group. Emiko is an Asian Canadian suburban teenage babysitter looking for excitement, escape… something! She borrows pieces of other people’s identities to stage a performance art piece, but there’s a hea ...more
Kaprisha Campbell
Jul 02, 2015 Kaprisha Campbell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Loved it. Funny and
Review originally posted on my old YA Materials blog.

"Up until this point, I was not exactly the kind of person who would go to a FREAK SHOW. I guess you could say I was kind of...awkward. My mother said I was a wallflower. At my school they call it being a geek."

As a graphic novel format, Emiko Superstar combines the theme of performance visual art with the actual medium the readers interact with. Like those watching THE FREAK SHOW, readers are inundated in sparse yet vivid visual details and
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