I know I wrote about this strip already, but the first time was when I knew almost nothing about it. I originally became curious about Nemi because I stumbled across the character design by accident and liked it. It doesn't always happen this way, but now that I know exactly what a "Nemi" is, I love it even more. This makes me depressed, because as I said previously, no one in both continents comprising the Americas has heard of Nemi.
Well, that's gonna stop, starting today.
It is nothing short of a travesty, the lack of Nemi awareness in this country. If I was given a website for any purpose, it must be to spread the word of Nemi Montoya to the primitive unwashed masses, those who only know of Blondie and Cathy and don't know how funny a comic strip can be. I think I've done all I can for Bloom County (it's being released in its entirety, making the scrounging around for lost strips no longer necessary). Now I have a new mission. There'll probably be a third Nemi article after this.
|Today we'll be reviewing something so
fabulous, so super, that you at home should just start
ordering it even before I tell you what it is! It's the
third "Nemi" collection, new this fall from
Titan Books, costing only nine pounds and ninety-nine
Thankfully "Nemi" is published in English now, but only in the UK. The Barnes and Noble closest to me receives about two copies of the latest Nemi book per year. They usually just gather dustbunnies on the "Graphic Novels" shelf for months, because nobody knows what they are. Eventually they disappear, but I fear they aren't sold -- just thrown away or sent to an outlet mall. The only Yankee fans of Nemi right now are two: me and apparently Jeff Smith.
I interpret this as suggesting Nemi is better than Moby Dick.
Nemi is the greatest demented Albino since Natasha Fatale, and thrice as deadly.
And the faces.....oh, the FACES!
Nemi has over a thousand faces, and they're all great. She can look traffic-stoppingly beautiful in one panel and absolutely horrifying in the next -- that's how variable and versatile her face is. It's the best face in cartoonist history. Nemi is awesome. How awesome is Nemi?
Some of the strips that appeared on my first Nemi page appear towards the back of this book, indicating most of them come from 2004 and are in some sort of chronological order.
Here's one of them. Honest, this originally said "Cookie Monster," not "Big Bird." Britain must have changed it because "Big Bird" was shorter and fit inside the word balloon more neatly.
Nemi is some potently funny stuff, and her expressions make even the mediocre jokes better. Again, Nemi makes the best faces ever.
It's the expression in the final panel that makes this perfect: not one of shock or discomfort, but of thick disbelief that she had done anything out-of-the-ordinary in there.
Some of the strips are in a weird aspect ratio. The only ones that appear on the Metro website are the standard four-panel type. These extra ones either came from Larsons Gale Verden or the Nemi magazine.
Nemi is at her best when she's insane.
The only time we see her exercise.
Sometimes Nemi will get on a high horse and ride it for all it's worth, but thankfully, not always, and not always with a position that's hateful. The lesson in this strip is extremely wordy, but hard to disagree with.
Oh yeah....Nemi is also a rabid LOTR fanatic.
Wait, back up.....hedgehogs float in water?
HEDGEHOGS FLOAT IN WATER??
SEGA, YOU HAVE SOME SERIOUS EXPLAINING TO DO.....
In addition to all these priceless moments and more, those who purchase this book will also get a ten-page, full-length story starring a smaller Nemi, where she competes in a skiing competition and meets the Abominable Snowman. Every Nemi collection has included a longer-sized story in the middle, and while I can't speak for the quality of the other two, this one is sweet and poignant. No spoilers here....read it on your own. (And don't think you can try your local library. Like they carry Nemi? Hah!)
The only downside to this book is the occasional strip with an extremely Norwegian reference, that they change into a strip with an extremely British reference, resulting in confusion either way.
How long has it been since America and England were one and the same? 250 years, roughly? That's not very long in historical terms. How did we become complete aliens to each other in so short a time?
The original strip made fun of the slogan of the Norwegian postal system. Here it's been changed to Royal Mail, the postal service of the English, but the conversation isn't as good because the joke worked better with the Norwegian slogan. (I don't remember what it is -- the site I first got translated Nemis from is now offline.)
As always, you can get Nemi for free here. The Metro forgot to white-out the original copyright information from one strip in 2008. Lise Myhre's E-mail address is revealed there:
Good luck with that.
Will Nemi be discovered in the States soon? With today's dismal comic strip prospects, that's unlikely. But if we all work together, it's gotta happen eventually, right? Because Nemi is awesome. How awesome is Nemi?
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