Publisher: Drawn and Quarterly
Release Date: April 28th, 2015
Format: Paperback 224 pages
My Rating: DNF
Unrequited love, underage drinking, and teen angst rule at a high school for mutants and witches.
The New York Times and New Yorker illustrator Jillian Tamaki is best known for co-creating the award-winning young adult graphic novels Skim and This One Summer—moody and atmospheric bestsellers. SuperMutant Magic Academy, which she has been serializing online for the past four years, paints a teenaged world filled with just as much ennui and uncertainty, but also with a sharp dose of humor and irreverence. Tamaki deftly plays superhero and high-school Hollywood tropes against what adolescence is really like: The SuperMutant Magic Academy is a prep school for mutants and witches, but their paranormal abilities take a backseat to everyday teen concerns.
Science experiments go awry, bake sales are upstaged, and the new kid at school is a cat who will determine the course of human destiny. In one strip, lizard-headed Trixie frets about her nonexistent modeling career; in another, the immortal Everlasting Boy tries to escape this mortal coil to no avail. Throughout it all, closeted Marsha obsesses about her unrequited crush, the cat-eared Wendy. Whether the magic is mundane or miraculous, Tamaki’s jokes are precise and devastating.
SuperMutant Magic Academy has won two Ignatz Awards. This volume combines the most popular content from the webcomic with a selection of all-new, never-before-seen strips that conclude Tamaki’s account of life at the academy.
I initially picked this one up on a whim when I was returning books at the library. I had heard nothing about it, but I really liked This One Summer, the graphic novel that the author did with her cousin Mariko Tamaki. So I thought this one would have a different plot (fantasy theme) but therein lied the problem. There was no plot at all, and I just couldn't get into it.
I tried to read this one, I really did, but after 100 pages I just decided I couldn't do it anymore. I thought, "Oh it's a comic, I can probably just finish it, even though I'm not enjoying it." However, every time I went to pick the book back up, I just had no desire to read it. I definitely want to stop forcing myself to read things that I'm not into, so this was just a case of that.
This book is not bad by any means, it just wasn't for me at all. It definitely has an audience and I could see why so many people might enjoy this one. The book is told in a series of one-page connected comics. The characters are all the same, so you do get to learn about everyone, but I just found there to be no real plot or substance to it. I just couldn't really care about these characters when there was nothing that was holding my attention to their stories.
The artwork in this collection is done in thick black and white lines. There are a few pages where color is introduced, but the majority of the collection is done in black and white. I think had the art been more vibrant, this collection might have held my attention more, but I just didn't find it interesting enough to continue along with this.
I definitely think I am an outlier when it comes to this book. Just looking at other reviews, it seems like a lot of people really enjoyed this. Unfortunately, I am not one of them. If you like quirky characters that get up to shenanigans, and you can deal with a book not really having a plot, then I would say you should read this one. This was just not a book for me.
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