Written and Illustrated by Emi Lenox
Published by Image Comics
52 Pick-Up Week 39:
I don’t read Live Journals or check my Twitter feed. Hell, I barely even pay attention to my friends’ Facebook updates. By the same token, I’m not a big fan of webcomics. Sure, there are a few I check out from time to time, but for the most part? They’re just not my thing. Therefore, a compilation of a sketch diary/webcomic is the very definition of “outside my wheelhouse.” When Emitown was brought to my attention, how could I not take a look at it for 52 Pick-Up.
You see, this book is the collected work of Emi Lenox, who decided to chronicle her life via a “sketch diary.” I’ll be honest, I didn’t even know that was a thing. Apparently, somewhere along the line, while working for Top Shelf Comics, Emi was convinced to make her private works public and put them up on the web. Since then, the popularity of Emitown has prompted the decision to release a collected work following approximately one year of her life; the book upon which this review is focused.
I’ve got to say… I’ve never understood the idea of collecting webcomics and publishing them in printed form. Webcomics are free, archived, and nearly infinitely accessible. Why put them on paper and charge for them? Who is the audience? But I digress.
In reading this book, it’s important that one remember that it was written primarily as a diary – created initially as an entirely self-serving act to allow one woman to keep track of her own thoughts and experiences, and to express them in a private act of catharsis. Take all of this into consideration, and it’s easy to understand the stream-of-consciousness style in which each page is put together. It makes sense, given the origin of the work. Still, for me, that doesn’t make it any more enjoyable.
Simply put, this book is too far outside my normal fare for me to find much of anything about it I truly appreciate. Of a 400 pages book, I only made it through ten percent; a mere forty pages. The book’s endearing, sure. The art’s adorable. But the bottom line? I don’t care. I’m not that guy. Whatever this book does right, I just don’t get it.
I can’t give Emitown a rating, good or bad, because I wouldn’t know where to start.
If you are a connoisseur of such things as webcomics and/or Live Journals, check this book out. I don’t doubt that it might offer the best of both worlds. I just don’t know that I’m qualified to make that assessment. I’ve got no frame of reference to judge it against, no sense of what it should or could be against which to weigh it. All I can honestly say is that it wasn’t my cup of tea, but the pictures were pretty enough. Let us know if you check it out, and tell us what you think below.