robemilyEmily (the) Strange was not a planned birth. In 1993, in embryonic form, she was just a T-shirt created by Rob Reger, inspired by a skateboard sketch by Nate Carrico.

After that, she was a series of stickers handed out at shows. Gradually her look and personality have been fleshed out.

Reger is also co-founder of Thuja – the first group to become identified with the Jewelled Antler collective whose label and bands helped define the sound of New Weird America.

It’s probably him that influences Emily’s eclectic taste in music, which includes dark metal, noise and stoner rock.

She wears black and is fascinated by all things gothic. She feels at home in the realm of Tim Burton. She likes spiders because spiders are black and like to live in dark corners. She feels at home in cemeteries. She doesn’t read ‘normal’ books. Her parents fret about her and tell her she should get out more.

In short, Emily’s world is the flipside of everything Barbie stands for and aspires to. What Barbie girls love, Emily hates and vice versa. While Barbie luxuriates in a fluffy pink land of dreams – Emily relishes in the realm of dark nightmares.

What they do share is the rejection of what most would perceive as the life of the ordinary with its endless responsibilities and sensible choices. While Barbie wants to escape into the glamorous world full of handsome princes, beautiful clothes and pure luxury; Emily abhors this shiny, happy world . She would feel at home in a dungeon or in libraries full of large tomes gathering dust on shelves.

She stands for the exact opposite to the lifestyle tips presented to readers of glossy magazines.

She is a heroine for our times.