It’s all about NEMI

Another Halloween has come and gone, as Charlie Brown once said.  Ah, but despite the dearth of horror in comics these days (The Walking Dead being a much-welcomed exception), there was a book that came out last month that my wife refused — refused! to let me near until she had savored every last panel.  “Back off!  Back, back to your side of the bed, you twisted, greedy-fingered fiend!” Traci shrieked, desperately clutching the book to her bosom and baring her fangs in a vampire threat.  “You’ll get this when I’m done reading it, and not a second before!”  I responded with a round from my father’s crossbow, designed to shoot through schools; all 170 lbs. pounds of action released in a hail of bolts rivaling Henry V’s devastating attack at Agincourt.  Traci nimbly sidestepped the barrage, and we faced each other, hissing and snarling like rabid hyenas, each searching for that one opening that would provide victory for one and one alone…

Oh, the comic in question?  NEMI book 2, by Lisa Myhre; published by Titan Books and featuring a foreword by Tori Amos.

NEMI is a wonderful, wonderful comic strip series from England or Scandanavia or somewhere in Europe more cold and remote than my beloved New Hampshire.  The protagonist is a goth/metal chick, complete with pale skin, long straight black hair, a fierce love of all things Halloween and a liver that can take down a brewery.  She is lonely and cynical and you just know she’s not evil — it’s just that she knows that life is meant to be fun and wonderful, and the world keeps letting her down.  If you’re not her, you know someone like her.  I gave away no less than three copies of the first volume (and we’re talking a hardcover collection here, not a $3 pamphlet) to women who this reminded me of.  All three of them LOVED the book.  Do you hear me, Christmas shoppers?

The author describes Nemi as such:  “In my opinion, Nemi is a mix of how we are, how we wish we were, and how we’re glad we’re not… Nemi has become something of a mascot for outsiders.  However, being different isn’t a question of image, but rather a feeling of loneliness in the midst of others – of not fitting in.  Goths aren’t the only ones who can experience this”.

Nemi.  It’s funny, it’s charming, it’s one of those books you start reading again as soon as you finish.  Buy several copies.

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