Kyran: So... that means I could consider it a success.
Emergency Exit (first strip) was the primary webcomic of NJ Huff. It ran from 2003 to 2011 before NJ suffered a back/neck injury that put her in chronic pain for 7 years, resulting in a long hiatus for EE. In 2018 NJ returned to the internet having mostly recovered from her previous condition and returned to work on webcomics. She has stated that EE will remain on hiatus for now and has focused her energy on her new webcomic, Undead Friend .
EE was initially a very random gag comic, it successfully pulled a half-Cerebus to become a story and humor comic. Basically, it's about the residents of an apartment building guarding a portal to other worlds, with lots of general weirdness and even downright absurdity.
As the dramatic narrative elements have matured, so has the art style. In August, 2009 the artist replaced the first 12 pages with a new intro storyline to help new readers adapt to this. One of the biggest influences in its evolution seems to be the massive crossover with Ben Fleuter's somber Parallel Dementia from 2006-12-25 to 2007-06-14 seemed to bring out the best in both webcomickers.
The comic went on a two-month long hiatus before starting a semi-reboot on July 1st, 2011, the comic's eighth birthday. The artist said that she was sick of the confusing continuity of the old comics, and wanted to start looking at doing something more serious with the comic. Unfortunately, Ms. Huff then suffered a serious back injury, forcing the comic into hiatus for the foreseeable future.
Be warned / encouraged, it has numerous characters. Here are the main protagonists, who all live in the same apartment building:
- Bob McKile is just your average, ordinary, orange-haired Celibate Hero with a Superpowered Evil Side.
- Eddie is a tall Cloud Cuckoo Lander with a Hyperspace Mallet. He's also a Mad Scientist with a lab and everything — for example, he can make a "coolness enhancer" that actually works, just like that — but that doesn't really apply outside of his lab, so he's rarely The Smart Guy.
- Saya Caelan is a purple-haired Deadpan Snarker and Badass Normal.
- Karl Tameron is a green-haired gamer geek and techie who controls their most important Applied Phlebotinum.
- Sal Declan is Bob's cousin and an orange-haired witch.
- Fred is a light brown cat. Excellent gamer and one of the smartest people in the building, but only Karl can understand her, even when Sal turns her into a Cat Girl. Team Pet.
- Jason Saskia is a late addition with black hair. Ex-circus. Kind of gay (although he did say he was "open to either"), with an obvious crush on Karl. Originally a Drop-In Character, but has come into the main cast.
Emergency Exit provides examples of:
- Affably Evil: Kyran really does like the apartment kids, for all that he protests to the opposite, and in turn, they're mostly not all that interested in ending him, Nefarious aside. He's more the 'Evil Is Cool' sort of villain. Admittedly, piss him off enough and he'll show why he's also known as Lord Hate.
- Alien Blood:
- It was revealed that Merfs have black blood. Although Vladic says he "wouldn't say it's the same thing as blood, but close enough". Apparently, their blood also smells like licorice.
- Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: The coolness enhancer mark 1 was built without limiters, and just kept enhancing its own coolness until it ascended to a cooler dimension.
- Bavarian Fire Drill: This is revealed to be basically Bubba Miyagi's plan: convince the gullible teenagers that he is a legitimate authority and sending them on a mission to acquire all the artifacts for him. In reality he wants to sell them.
- Beware the Silly Ones: The villains of the comic are Laughably Evil most of the time, and many seem to be decent people as well. All of them are deadly competent fighters, though, and if Lord Kyran (aka Lord Hate) puts on his Game Face it's time to start feeling afraid. Very afraid.
- Buffy Speak: Good examples here and here.
- Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Saya pulls these out on occasion. "You will die a slow horrible death by paperclip."
- Drowning My Sorrows: Rather than doing so with alcohol, characters seem to do so with food.
- Evil Overlord List: Kyran apparently reads it, specifically the part about having a fifth grader look over your plans before putting them into action. Good thing too; his plans are terrible.
- Eyes Always Shut: Harvoc, the mailman with a hook for a hand. He eventually opens them, which apparently means death.
- The Faceless:
- Feel No Pain: Vladic implies Eddie can do this at will for a period of time.
- Fictional Earth: According to the narrator, the comic takes place on "an Earth not quite like our own".
- Foreshadowing: Occasionally; minor example would be this. Might double as a Brick Joke.
- Genki Girl: Orulla. She just doesn't really get the point of stalking someone.
- Gilligan Cut: Kyran kisses Delaine on the cheek. Cut to him talking to Jurinjo—"And that's how I found out I'm bulletproof!"
- Gods Need Prayer Badly: Gods, apparently, embody one emotion or another. The more people who feel that way towards them, the stronger they are. For example Lord Kyran is a god of hate; therefore, he goes to a great deal of effort to try and make every mortal he comes across hate him. It doesn't always work out that way.
- Impossibly Cool Weapon: Eddie's coolness enhancer has the potential to turn any weapon into one of these, but the best example is when it turns his Hyperspace Mallet into twin double-headed hammer-chucks. Which he swings around with way more skill than he has any right to.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Vladic, apparently, especially when Eddie's involved.
- Kid Hero All Grown-Up: We see in a flashback that Eddie used to be part of a team of Kid Heros, although it's not known what happened to the rest of them.
- Large Ham: Lord Kyran is probably the worst offender, insisting on things such as dramatically dim lighting to obscure the features of villains.
- MacGuffin Delivery Service: Lord Kyran's preferred method. Though it hardly works, it allows him to try and keep his enemies alive whenever necessary.
- Pistol-Whipping: Evidently, Delaine doing this is the only way to stop a crazed Eddie.
- Pre-Insanity Reveal: Cloud Cuckoo Lander Eddie is revealed to have forced a portal into his own head in order to keep the Big Bad from getting it, which is what made him into the nutty Manchild we know.
- Random Transportation: The main characters have a portal which transports them to random dimensions. Frequently used to start crossovers by having them transport to that comics dimension.
- Servant Race: The Merfs exist to serve, although they do so out of free will.
- Ship Tease: Saya with Eddie, Kyran with Delaine, Jurinjo with Orulla, and Burgundy and Vladic.
- Superpowered Evil Side: Nefarious is Bob's.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: "Then obviously there's no doubt that there was a landlord there to pay rent too!" Yes, sure there was. That is why you are carrying a book titled How to be a Landlord.
- Sweet Tooth: Nefarious can be prevented from murderous rampages by being given candy.
- Tearjerker: This.
- The Cuckoolander Was Right: Eddie, often... but rarely moreso than when the giant chicken showed up.
- Third-Person Person: Lampshaded by NJ Huff when she used it when announcing the hiatus.
- Webcomic Time: One particular day in the story has taken up two years real time and over 250 pages.