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Emiko Superstar

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  1,195 Ratings  ·  143 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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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
Jun 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
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.

Dov Zeller
Sep 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
So often freaks and geeks are, well, social categories that get connected by an "and." But in Emiko Superstar freaks and geeks are not one and the same. Of course, hours, days, even years could be spent in a debate of what distinguishes one from the other, and how these terms came to be, and how they are used in self-identification vs. other-identification. But, in this book, there is a clear (ish) delineation. Geeks are those who pursue knowledge for the sake of becoming successful at something ...more
Mar 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
David Schaafsma
May 31, 2014 rated it liked it
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 who 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 Mariko Tamaki, and just okay art.
Sarah Sammis
Jan 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 14, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
May 23, 2009 rated it it was ok
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 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 17, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Mar 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
My new crush is on Mariko Tamaki. I loved her book Skim, and this is more proof that she's up-and-coming in the graphic novel universe. I can't wait for her to write something else. And she should update her website. :)
Anyway, the book. This is a story of a girl who decides to leave the geeks and join the freaks. You know I like a book with that premise. I want to tell you more, but I don't think it's necessary. I LOVED it. I want to LIVE it. This is far and away the best Minx title so far (and
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.
Mar 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel, women
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.
Jul 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
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.
Apr 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 26, 2015 rated it really liked it

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.
Kaprisha Campbell
Nov 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Loved it. Funny and
Jan 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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.
Oct 07, 2015 rated it liked it
This was ok. Not great, but not bad either. It was an enjoyable hour reading it.
Amanda Foust
Apr 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
I miss Minx.
May 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A lot of the "Minx" books just make me feel kind of, um, old? But this one is special.
Lizzie (Littlehux) Huxley-Jones
A very cute coming-of-age graphic novel about finding your place within an art world.

Emiko Superstar is an engaging story from Mariko Tamaki, as Emiko finds herself wanting to explore other sides to herself. With help from a plucky journalist, she investigates the strange world of the Freak Show, alongside her summer of babysitting for an increasingly unhappy couple.
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
Almost none of the plotlines resolve. Cool story, bro.
Eva Mitnick
Jan 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, graphic-novels
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
Jul 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphicnovels
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
Apr 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 04, 2010 rated it liked it
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
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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
More about Mariko Tamaki...
“Did you ever wish you had a book that would explain the full meaning of life's random happenings to you?” 19 likes
“It's funny right, how you can ask one question and you get a piece of an answer and a million NEW questions.” 0 likes
More quotes…