Emily du Jour


Today’s Emily (oh, sure, yes, I’m inaugurating this as a regular feature, even though I suspect that I will run out of Emilies in less than a couple of jours) is Emily Flake, the cartoonist and illustrator. This Emily and I have never met, but I was introduced to her work in the bathroom of the Queen’s Hideaway — talk about deceptively exciting sentences! The food at my favorite local fancy restaurant is amazing, but the bathroom is also an integral part of its charm: the walls are papered in Flake’s Lulu Eightball one-panel comic strips, which will keep you entertained for so long that your dinner companions will think that you got diarrhea from the squash-blossom fritters.

It’s hard to sum up with words what makes Lulu Eightball so funny and perfect. (It sucks that I’m not better at the whole summing-up-what’s-good-about-something-with-words thing by now, since it’s like 60% of what I do for a living.) But cartoons, by their very nature, are tough to describe because they convey a lot of information with images, which are so much less clumsy and time-consuming than dumb old words. I think I’ll just quote one of my favorite lines — it’s from a strip entitled “There must be fifty ways” : “Just kick her in the taco, Paco.” (the girl is like “OwWW!” and the guy is like “That’s the spot where I don’t love you anymore.”) Flake’s characters are often doing something terrible (“you want baby? Feefty dollar.”) while saying something hilarious (“you need bag?”) . Quotidian concerns like fatness, bodily weirdness, drunkenness, hungoverness, and job-hatingness are frequent themes, but then there are also strips wherein adorable monkeys and cartoon monsters make solid points about foreign policy. Flake’s descriptions hit the bullseye every time : a dollar-store lotion smells “like Barbies having sex.” And she captures perfectly the pathos of “passing out in bra and tights and waking up to a That’s So Raven marathon” and the evils of “boys what think having sadness’ll woo the ladies.” Sounds good, right? Okay, so purchase the book.

Posted by Emily at 03/21/2006 10:00:00 AM

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I just have to thank you for recommending Prep. Fantastic book and I haven’t even reached the sex part yet! (why did I reread your review?)

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