Southern California has an element of surprise because famous people live next door, so to speak.
It so happened that through a chance meeting at the trendy artistic Rialto Café in Fullerton, I introduced to Emily the Strange, a Goth tween brand that started as a skateboard and tee shirts design to becoming so internationally iconic that Hot Topic carried/carries EtS licensed items.
Rob Reger, seen in the picture below with Emily and her signature cat, touched a nerve in the Goth scene in the 90s with the counterculture girl brand, or as one tagline said, Emily ‘wasn’t searching to be found, she was searching to be lost’. Given the magic themed ‘being different is ok’ motif, coupled with some slight rebellion and standoffish, Emily was a hit in form and fashion with certain young girls before puberty, their Goth stage of the 90s.
The phenomenal appeal of Emily led to the development of a board game, action figures, a comic book series, and even a movie.
It was the movie development that brought a slow down to the Emily brand when a lawsuit against Marjorie Sharmat and Marc Simont, the co-creators of the children’s book series Nate the Great, showed a distinct likeness to Rosamond, a character featured in all of the Nate the Great Books, and Emily. The ensuing ruckus was settled between the two artist brands in August 2009 but not before the infringement blow back claimed a number of Emily fans who no longer saw Emily as their symbol of individuality and uniqueness.
Both Emily the Strange and Nate the Great are still available in the marketplace from their respective company outlets, and Emily maintains a strong presence at San Diego’s comic-con through the 6-piece band of characters, Emily and The Strangers. A premiere music video was released there in 2013,