is a comic strip by Norwegian writer/artist Lise Myhre, starring the titular heroine Nemi Montoya and charts her life and the lives of her close friends.
The comic began life in 1997 as Den svarte siden
(trans.: 'The Black Side' or 'The Black Page') before becoming Nemi.
Now the strip has its own monthly magazine, and is published daily in newspapers across Scandinavia. In the UK and Ireland it's (usually) printed daily in The Metro
, a free newspaper distributed in train stations and some major cities.
British English translations can be found at The Metro
, if you look hard enough.
This strip contains examples of:
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Nemi. One strip emphasizes it quite well:
Cyan: (to Nemi while she's leaving with a thug-faced, tattoo-covered brute) "If it's the last thing I do, I'll find a guy who is right for you."
Nemi: "But I have so much fun with the guys who are wrong for me!"
- Anti-Role Model / Girls Need Role Models: on the surface, Nemi is a cursing, short-tempered, violent, lazy, disorganized, disillusioned youngster who feels out of touch with the society she has to live in. Many girls and women have stated they find her an excellent role model, however, because she is always there for her friends (particularly Cyan) and never fails to stand up for herself or speak her mind when she needs to.
- Art Evolution: Caricatured extras became less common in more recent comics.
- Author Tract: Nemi strips often preach about the cartoonist's opinions of animal rights and whatnot. In fact, a staple of Nemi comics is how they switch back and forth between hilarious humor to dead serious strips or even short stories about death, war, child abuse, rape, and other very serious topics.
- Back to Front: A comic where Nemi and a friend discussed backwards music videos had its panels arranged in reverse order.
- Berserk Button: Nemi has plenty.
- Blinding Bangs: Nemi's father has these - in fact the only things sticking out of his hair are his nose and unshaven chin.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Nemi once opened a comic by telling the readers about her being a sexy single. Her friend Cyan walked in, and asked Nemi if she were trying to use the comic as a classified ad.
- Lise Myhre, who is herself black-haired and full of attitude, has expressed frustration with people who think Nemi is meant to be her alter ego.
- Child Hater: Nemi doesn't excplicitly hate children, but she's not very fond of them. Lise Myhre made it clear in an interview however that she likes children herself.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: At times, Nemi is almost a child trapped in an adult's body. At other times, she's simply nuts.
- Cultural Translation: The English-translated books incorporate British slang and references.
- Deadpan Snarker: Cyan, Nemi's best friend.
- The Ditz: Nemi is not meant to be one, but her behaviour fits into the trope. Mostly when drunk off her gourd.
- Draco in Leather Pants: In-universe, Nemi has a crush on The Phantom Blot.
- Dumb Blonde: often contrasted with Nemi.
- Nemi once had a nightmare where she was one of these. Which is even funnier after it was revealed in one comic that Nemi is a natural blonde who dyes her hair.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette - Nemi in spades.
- The Eeyore: Ofelia is a chubby, long-haired girl who has a rather depressed and disillusioned outlook on life.
- Groin Attack: When Cyan's boyfriend Tim cheated on her, Nemi did this to him (unbeknowst to Cyan).
Cyan: So my boyfriend is possibly having sex with someone else right now.
Nemi: In that case I doubt he's enjoying it.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Nemi's boyfriend, Grim, appears taller and buffer than she does.
- It's Popular, Now It Sucks: In universe, Nemi declines to show a customer to a certain record she adores out of fear that it will become this.
- The Lad-ette: Nemi, especially when she admitted that she found out her boyfriend Grim's name after they slept together for the first time.
- Longing for Fictionland: even in adulthood, Nemi dreams of adventures in a fantasy universe, and will even become aggressive when people remind her that dragons and other supernatural creatures aren't real.
- Mayan Doomsday: Ophelia believes in this. Well, used to.
- My Eyes Are Up Here: Nemi once wore a pig snout on a date just to see how long it would take the guy to notice.
- Another comic parodies this, when Grim's Conan the Barbarian shirt draws Nemi's attention away from his eyes.
- Not a Morning Person: Nemi often starts the day blearily-eyed and hungover.
- Only One Name: Everyone except Nemi.
- There is a short story in which Cyan dreams that she is dead, and we actually get to see her tombstone, complete with her full name. It is, however, in too small letters to read.
- Only Sane Woman - Cyan again, though she definitely has her quirks.
- Perky Goth: Nemi, at least when she's had a bit to drink, eats chocolate or talks about her favorite movies and rock artists. And you're going to want to keep her perky, especially considering the alternative.
- Remember the New Guy: Ofelia, the obese, dumpy woman, originally only appeared in her own Sunday pages that seemed to have no connection to the other strips note . Then she started hanging out with Nemi and Cyan, and now she's part of the regular cast. There was never any strip about her first meeting with Nemi and company, they just treat her as if she's always been there.
- Serious Business: If your favorite rock artists aren't Alice Cooper, Tori Amos or WASP, Nemi will be happy to tell you why they should be.
- Also telling her that Mithril is not a real word when playing Scrabble.
- Soapbox Sadie: Nemi is a vegetarian, but she seems more interested in complaining about injustice in general.
- Shout-Out: lots and lots and lots and lots.
- Nemi Montoya is named after Lake Nemi and Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride, which is Lise Myhre's favorite movie.
- In one strip Nemi is watching the film with Cyan and Tim and annoying them by quoting every line.
- In one strip, a poster of Frank and the words "wake up, Donnie" is seen on the wall.
- And then there is the amount of band shirts worn throughout the years. There are lots of Shout outs.
- Alice Cooper once makes an appearance as Nemi's invisble friend and mentor. Nemi is quite fond of Tori Amos as well.
- Then there are all the Lord of the Rings references.
- Smoking Is Cool: Nemi's cigarette, complete with beautiful twirling smoke, featured prominently in the early comics and even on some front book and comic covers. Lise Myhre once expressed frustration at how people criticized her for this, and said that "I give my readers enough "cred" to be confident they won't start smoking because of Nemi". Later, however, Nemi's smoking habit died away, and Myhre now says she is "startled" whenever she sees Nemi with a cigarette.
- Stylistic Suck: Nemi's version of Titanic cuts from Jack and Rose together on the boat, to sock puppets of Jack and Rose making wedding plans after coming to America.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: Nemi literally switches from aloof, cynical and wise to childish, naive and hammy between strips.
- Sweet Tooth: Nemi LOVES chocolate.
- Take That: For some reason, Nemi really loathed the britpop wave of the mid-nineties. Of course, her opinions on what is good music and what is not, remains strong.
- Toilet Seat Divorce: Several strips are dedicated to Cyan thinking how much she loves Leo and in general how perfect they are for one another, only for her to suddenly break up with him (off-screen no less) after a conversation in which he wondered about something insignificant while she was being philosophical, making her realize how "small" he seemed.
- Tongue on the Flagpole: Even well past age twenty, Nemi still does this.
- WHAM Episode: When she found her boyfriend.
- Womanchild: Nemi, so much. Cyan is usually the more responsible one, but she has her moments.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Cyan, though it's dyed. In one strip Nemi was helping Cyan re-dye it. Only to dye it purple instead — to match Nemi's furniture.