Emo Boy Vol. 1 (Slave Labor Graphics)

emoboyA lighter look at the teen culture where goth went to die.


176 pgs B&W; $13.95

(W / A: Steve Emond)



Virgin frustration and melodrama spill off the page in Steve Emond's Emo Boy, a comic exploration of the emo condition through the eyes of a fifteen-year-old angstlet. Known for Steverino!, a collection of strips involving the adventures of a group of friends, Emond does not branch too far off from previous work, maintaining the same exaggerated humor and coming-of-age life expressions.


The book contains every stereotype readers have come to expect from an emo kid: a tall, skinny, possibly gay nerd with an obsession for loneliness, bad music, a penchant for pissing off jocks, and, of course, a longing for the girl that got away (or never was). Someone really should explain the whole virgin-whore dichotomy to this young man.


Emond sets the tone for the book by disavowing any relationship with "the emo," and if readers are hard-pressed to find the humor, once Emo Boy starts blowing heads off, vanishing, lasering walls, and capturing women King-Kong style with his intense emotional outbursts, that should clear up any confusion. If not, bands like "Cheezer" and "Dachsbord Flughafenal" will alert readers to the kind of fun Emond is having.


For the most part, the artwork is not that remarkable, but it gets the point across and often cleverly, such as with the Virgin Mary-like image of Emo Boy's idealized female classmate. Emond has a strength for texture and minimalist expression. He also handles shadows well, which seems fitting given the subject matter.


If one is looking for a serious exploration of the emo-teen culture, this would not be the book to read, but if readers can muster a sense of humor, can accept a lighter look at an angsty subject–which, let's face it, could use a little brightening up–then this is definitely a book to check out. It won't move mountains, but it might make readers crack a smile, which really is okay even if you're thinking about a faraway girl, a lost love, or the dish you just broke on the kitchen floor because you were crying so hard.

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