Erma

Erma – My Favouritest Comic in the world.

Recently I got this very exciting delivery, so it seems appropriate to take this opportunity to gush about my favouritest comic of all time. And if you love cute and horror then you will love it too.

Warning: This review contains spoilers.

Erma, by Brandon Santiago, is gorgeous. It follows the exploits of Erma, a young girl like many other young girls. And she’s adorable. She likes to watch TV, play with her toys, hang out with her friends, and play practical jokes on people. As with all good stories though, there is something that sets Erma apart…she’s a ghost…or half ghost…not quite sure how that works, which gives her an obvious advantage in the hiding-and-startling-someone-as-they-walk-down-the-hallway joke.
Erma is the daughter of Samara from The Ring (which I must admit I have yet to see) and…uh…I’m not sure what her father’s name is…dear? Sweetie? Late for Dinner? Honey? Little Brother? Your Dad?…anyway, he’s a mortal, and sadly, he and his relatives are the only adults that don’t seem in any way phased by Erma’s oddities. Her teachers, and other adults in the comic, have very different reactions to what she is.
But probably what I love most about this comic is the way the other kids treat Erma…they don’t care that she’s different. If anything, they love it. Well, except maybe for the girl that gets her toys “Godzilla’d” by Erma. Every one wants Erma on their team. The prankster of the school (think a younger and nicer Bart Simpson) is constantly trying to get the best of her, matching his traps against her powers. They love her “artwork”. Her best friend gets to enjoy some awesome, supernatural adventures. And the kids just love hanging out with her in general.
As someone who spent her entire childhood alone, with other kids constantly ditching her because she was super weird, I feel a special love for the awesome children in this comic.

The comic functions quite smoothly in two different formats; a joke a day type strip, featuring themes such as homework, pets, sleep walking and puppy love, and longer story-lines with much deeper themes, such as fandom, acceptance and betrayal.
Brandon’s drawing style, is absolutely beautiful. Most of the comic is black and white, with occasional single panel strips in full colour. The children are drawn in a very cute style, with the adults having a slightly less stylised look to them. He is somehow able to seamlessly merge cute and scary drawing styles. And his backgrounds are super detailed, which I love, as backgrounds is something that I’ve always been too lazy to do, and so really appreciate it when an artist puts in all that work to build such beautiful and detailed backgrounds.

Previous 480 words aside, I really can’t express how awesome this comic is. You need to check it out. Right now!
He does have some old strips up on his website, but for the most up-to-date strips, you’ll need to follow it on Tapastic. Or you can be super awesome and support the creation of more gorgeous strips by buying his books.

So, as Erma would say, “ “.

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