Not much to say about this Metatextual Emp title page, other than to point out that, just like poor Grover in The Monster at the End of This Book, she clearly had no luck in convincing the reader to accede to her wishes, as expressed in the previous chapter break.
Dang! Glancing over at Pissed-Off Emp at far right, I’m pained to notice that I haven’t bothered to use the ol’ “Icicle Word Balloon” in quite a while, as a whimsical means to convey the frosty tone Emp is directing towards the hapless reader. I find myself strangely fond of this visual riff, even though I don’t quite recall using it in the last few volumes of Empowered. (I might be mistaken about that, though.) SPOILER ALERT: Emp will very soon be directing an even more bone-chilling degree of verbal iciness towards another, even more hapless member of our cast. Best keep those long johns, handwarming pads and “snorkel parkas” handy, folks! Brrrr!
Amusing to consider that each Pissed-Off Emp face on this page is, in fact, drawn in a slightly different art style. That’s one of the fun things about rocking a clearly “cartoony” approach to artwork, by the way; I can shift in and out of styles and influences at will, something that a more realistic art technique would not allow.
Anyhoo: Tooth-intensive Emp #1 probably owes her pronounced dentition to manga influences like Yuzo Takada (3X3 Eyes) and Yuji Iwahara (King of Thorn), whose yelling maws—well, their character’s yelling maws, that is—were long ago ported into my artistic repertoire. Emp #2 reminds me more of the work of old-school mangaka Atsuji Yamamoto (Elf 17, Arnis in Swordland) and Hisao Tamaki (Star Wars: A New Hope), whose more modest approach to drawing mouths still pops up in my work on occasion. No idea what influences might have driven Pissed-Off Emp #3’s face, though. Why, perhaps I worked up her slit-eyed, pouty-lipped look all by my lonesome! (Possible, but not likely.)