Friday, October 10, 2008

Emiko Superstar = ugh

Emiko Superstar is a new Minx graphic novel by writer Mariko Tamaki and artist Steve Rolston and while I was reading it I was thinking that this book wanted to be what another Minx title, The Plain Janes, is and that is a good coming of age story with the central character trying to make their transformation through art. My problem with Emiko Superstar wasn't that I thought it was similar to The Plain Janes, but that none of the characters were especially interesting or were handled in such a way to make the reader care about what happened to them.

While reading Emiko Superstar, I was also thinking of a discussion I had with Kate when it was first announced that the Minx line would be discontinued. Kate's argument was that most of the Minx titles featured stories that were preachy, with characters that learn some kind of moral lesson and not the kind of story she (Kate) sought out as a teenage reader. Well, Emiko Superstar proves her point, even though I still stand by my argument that just about anyone who read the two best Minx titles, The Plain Janes and Good As Lilly, would enjoy them (although she's probably right that they would be bought for teenage girls rather than something they'd think to select themselves).

Actually I didn't want to just write about what a dud I thought this book was, I wanted to talk specifically about something Emiko, the central character of Emiko Superstar does that transforms her. Spoiler alert following! Emiko works as a babysitter and she finds a journal / diary that was / is written by the mother of the boy she watches. So she decides to PLAGIARIZE the whole diary and present it as her creation at this gathering of artists / performers and their audience. Emiko copies every word from the diary, calls it "Suburbia", and the reaction to it is very favorable. Nowhere in the book when Emiko does this is the word "plagiarism" named nor is the reader or Emiko left with the impression that plagiarism is bad. I think plagiarism is a pretty serious offense and I think that any young readers of Emiko Superstar will just think that stealing other people's writings (or ideas) is okay as long as it advances you as a person. I have (had?) a friend who discovered that a friend of theirs had plagiarized complete ideas from another person and presented those ideas (word for word) in an outlet as if they were their unique ideas so my friend stopped talking to that person (the plagiarist was not confronted by my friend and I don't know if the plagiarist realized that someone discovered this or if the person who was plagiarized ever knew that that happened to them, of which I'm two minds of, but who amongst us hasn't been confrontational when they should have?). While I think Joe Biden is generally a fairly intelligent person, I'm surprised that his previous plagiarism incident (when he ran for President years ago) hasn't been brought up as a character assault towards him. Maybe plagiarism isn't so bad anymore!?

1 comment:

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Happy New Comics Wednesday 8/16/17 - Big Metal #1 release, Kirby 100th B-Day Celebration local artist opening tonight (with a HUGE Kirby cake), & Very Awesome Girls LV Book Drive / Bake Sale this Saturday edition!!

 I hope everyone has stayed off of the interwebs and not had this first issue spoiled! After these three photos showing some of the comics...