Monday, December 7, 2015

SuperMutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamaki

(Drawn &Quarterly) Perhaps you are familiar with the online or minicomic version of this lovely, heartbreaking, beautifully drawn, engaging, fantastic comic about teen scenes at a prep/training/art school for magicmutants, where almost none of the action involves magic, mutations, or action. Rather, youthful cruelty, kindness, sensitivities, and obsessions provide more sublime drama than those bizarre Xavier's, Hogwarts, or Pratt students ever experience. However, the book version is one of the most impressive compilations I’ve seen because Tamaki’s work benefits from seeing the funny, poignant vignettes compiled so the drama, relationships, and three dimensionality of the characters build, and the artist also takes this opportunity to wrap thing up with an extended senior prom episode. I was a little put off at first by the slick manga-style style employed for the ultimate episode, but the non-raw art didn’t make the emotions any less raw, and the fact that the most action packed sequence in the comic’s history still elicited shrugs from the reluctant heroine was super satisfying.

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