Her So-Called-Life: Preview of EmiTown

Editor Staff, Fiction, September 22nd, 2010

The Life and Times of a Portland Comic Artist

Emitown Cover, by Emi Lenox

The cover of Emitown, by Emi Lenox

In October, Image is putting out EmiTown, a years’-worth of Emi Lenox’s illustrated diary. While many comic-diarists emphasize a single moment of a day over several panels, Lenox instead takes us through the big and small moments of her day. She has a good sense of humor about her life in Portland (Oregon, of course). Over the course of the year, we get to see Lenox get into scrapes with the local homeless, party with friends, kick ass at Dr. Mario, and seek love. Most importantly, it’s fun to see her begin to gain some recognition and success with her other comics. It’s impressive enough that she works and still manages to put up a journal entry every day, let alone get paintings created while working on other comics.

The pages are each beautifully put together. She takes on the whole page, only putting in panels where necessary, which makes for beautiful spreads. Further, Lenox effortlessly moves through styles that range from realistic, to cute, to slapstick-cartoon, displaying consistently a wide range of talents for multiple variations on the form.

Because EmiTown is written as a diary, it’s worth keeping it nearby so that you can slowly read (and savor) it in chunks.

Mini Interview With Comic Artist, Emi Lenox, About Emitown
Conducted via email by Matty Byloos

1) When did you start writing and drawing comics?

I always have been, in little ways, since high school — but not seriously until the last year or so.

2) How much do you consider yourself a writer, and where does the image come in for you? Or does the narrative start with the image? Answer that any way that fits you and your work best.

For me the narrative generally starts with the image. I think I see things visually instead of in words. So I guess I wouldn’t really consider myself a writer. With the original stories that I am wanting to work on, I never really considered writing separate from the drawing. They feel like they go hand in hand for me; overall, it’s creating.

3) Where would you like to see things go with Emitown once the book comes out?

Hopefully, it will draw more readers and there will someday be a second volume. I’m not looking for profit at all, but it would be nice for the book to be somewhat successful in the stores.

* * *

EMITOWN, a 400-page two-color graphic novel for $19.99, will be available on October 27, 2010. For an advance look at Lenox’s work, check out: EmiTown on Blogspot

Some Early Praise for EMITOWN, by Emi Lenox

Emitown Panel From May 19, 2009

Emitown Panel From May 19, 2009

“EMITOWN is one of my favorite places to visit…I simply love the fresh energized pop that comes from Emi’s work” – Mike Allred (Madman, IZombie)

“EMITOWN is the rare and charming comic that doesn’t resort to nudity and misanthropy for its entertainment. It’s just adorable” – David Hahn (Murderland, Bite Club, Fables)

“Emi can draw like nobody’s business. Her style is fabulous!” – Jamie S. Rich (You Have Killed Me, Spell Checkers)

“Some of the nicest cartooning I’ve discovered in a long time” – Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth, Essex County)

“Emi Lenox misrepresented herself to me as someone who doesn’t draw, when in fact she does. Really well, too. Good narcissism!” – Jeff Parker (Underground, Agents of Atlas, X-Men: First Class

More Information on Image Comics here.

Emitown Panel From September 7, 2009

Emitown Panel From September 7, 2009

Emitown Panel From March 25, 2010

Emitown Panel From March 25, 2010


Because of the magazine's early formatting, many articles are sourced by editors, and feature contributors whose work only appears once on the site. With this detail in mind, some articles are attributed to "Staff," which indicates that the piece was likely worked on by multiple writers and editors.