Nemi is a
strip, written and drawn by
Lise Myhre. It made its first appearance in
1997, and was
originally called Den svarte siden (The black side or the black page). At
that time it was a very dark cartoon about the
Myhre has turned it brighter with the years, although she still frequently
publishes strips about serious issues, especially in the larger Sunday panels.
The cartoon is now named Nemi, after the protagonist. It is now the second
most popular cartoon in Norway, behind
Pondus. In the
UK and Ireland, the strip is reprinted daily in the
Myhre has also illustrated poems by
Edgar Allan Poe and
Nemi has its own magazine in Norway, notable for giving the Norwegian
audience comics like
A woman about 25 years old, living in
Oslo, Nemi always
wears black clothes, has very pale
skin, and very
little in common with most of the rest of the world. The apparently Spanish
surname is interesting. It underlines Nemi's "outsider" status with Norwegian
society and suggests that she may actually be a natural brunette (hardly rare in
Scandinavia but definitely outside the stereotypical norm). Myhre has stated
that Nemi's surname actually comes from a lake called Montoya in Italy.
Nemi is a "tough girl" with an attitude, is not afraid to speak her mind and
more often than not in a conflictual way so: violent rejections of would-be
one-night standers at the
pub are not uncommon.
At the same time, she can be very sensitive: she is apparently incapable of
killing anything, including
she is very fond of. She can also feel very alone at times. She is afraid of
growing up, and loathes
blonde bimbos (viz
cartoon in which she insinuates that Tim is nothing more that a replaceable
penis for his new blonde-bimbo girlfriend.)
She listens to
heavy metal and
and has a number of friends in that environment who dress likewise. She is often
unemployed or employed in temporary jobs, where she often gets fired for her
temper (such as
beating a customer who asked for a CD of
Christina Aguilera for her daughter, instead of
Cooper that Nemi had suggested).
She is fond of vacationing in warmer countries, but when at the beach she
uses top-grade sunblock cream to avoid
tanning, which would
cramp her style. Nemi suffers from strong
reactions and has advocated exterminating
birch trees, on
the grounds that "we kill off thousands of species every day anyway".
She likes to visit the pub, often with her friend Cyan, where she often gets
Alcoholism is however not a main theme of the comic, as getting drunk at the
pub is fairly common in
Scandinavia and is socially accepted (although rather less so in Sweden).
However, as a consequence Nemi has a lot of
and often wakes up beside complete strangers.
Nemi's apartment is almost always a mess, and she has an incontrollable
Nemi does not state a clear political preference, but is opposed to
George W. Bush, Norwegian
hunting and hunting in general,
restrictions and in general the "establishment". The animal rights content is
mostly passive resistance (in one cartoon Nemi disrupts a duck hunt by singing
loudly to scare the ducks away), but other cartoons appear to condone violence
against scientists conducting research on animals, eg. one in which Nemi tries
to teach a laboratory mouse how to swing a baseball bat. In another cartoon Nemi
berates a boyfriend for disagreeing with her on this issue, the punchline being
that he is apparently not fit to be regarded as a human for doing so (perhaps
that one lost something in translation).
Nemi's heroes are
Edgar Allan Poe,
The Phantom Blot and
also has a passion for
reality shows such as
Brother, and regards "modern art" as simply a manifestation of insecurity by
would-be intellectuals, who secretly know they have little original to say (viz.
cartoon in which Nemi visits a modern art exhibition with Cyan and Tim).
Cyan is Nemi's best friend. She has
cyan hair and a lot
of worries (apparently being especially afraid of death; viz. the recurring
nightmare cartoon). She usually functions as Nemi's
and a sort of connection with the real world.
Tim used to be Cyan's
He plays in a band, and has no job. Tim and Cyan had a pretty bad relationship,
and eventually he dumped her for a blonde. Subsequently, his presence in the
magazine was sharply reduced.
The cartoon also features a large number of friends, family, short-term
boyfriends and goths.