SuperMutant Magic Academy

Jillian Tamaki, 1980-

Book - 2015

"SuperMutant Magic Academy is a prep-school for mutants and witches but their paranormal abilities take a back seat 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" --

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Graphic novels
Montréal : Drawn & Quarterly [2015]
Main Author
Jillian Tamaki, 1980- (author)
First edition
Physical Description
274 pages : chiefly illustrations ; 22 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Like an angsty mash-up of Harry Potter and X-Men, Tamaki's Ignatz Award-winning SuperMutant Magic Academy, originally a webcomic, explores the thrills and banalities of superhuman teens at boarding school. The story begins with discrete sets of dryly witty six-panel pages focusing on individual characters, such as Eternity Boy, who drifts through all time and space with little concern for worldly worries, and Frances, who creates absurd and antagonistic performance art (Frances, feminist statement or not, throwing pig's blood, followed by glitter, on male students is not acceptable). Its true heart, however, is Marsha, a closeted bespectacled grump who pines for her best friend, Wendy. Though Tamaki's black-and-white panels shift from detailed and realistic to dreamy and atmospheric and back again, she consistently and expertly captures subtle emotion and subtext with only a few strokes of the pen. The teens all face the usual hurdles dating, self-esteem, homework, sports, and so on but Tamaki, illustrator of the award-winning This One Summer (2014), never lets growth come easy. There are flickering moments of transcendent wisdom and kindness, but the overall tone is one of insouciant, salty resignation to the mundane realities of existence. Simultaneously heartbreaking and hilarious, this is perfect for fans of Daniel Clowes' Ghost World (1997).--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2015 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Bestselling Tamaki (Skim, This One Summer) returns with an offbeat coming-of-age graphic novel about mutant teenagers at a school that teaches magic alongside other, more prosaic, school subjects. Showing its origins as an infrequently updated webcomic, the book opens with one-page vignettes, which are choppy and abrupt. But as the comic progresses the characters become clearer, the vignettes get longer and more developed, and the book becomes an often painfully blunt look at the insecurities and cruelties universal to teens-even flying teens. The central story focuses around Marsha, a tomboyish, frumpy broom-flyer, and Wendy, her beautiful best friend who can transform into a fox. Marsha's very real love for Wendy drives the text, but other students have their own agonies, which they keep hidden in plain sight. The humor is sometimes slapstick, but more often it offers ultra-dry observations on modern disengagement. Tamaki is playful and loose with her art, unafraid to be experimental as she draws us into a world where true feelings are the greatest danger. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-This quirky solo work from Caldecott- and Printz-winning graphic novelist Tamaki collects strips from her long-running webcomic about a school for mutants and witches into one mostly cohesive anthology. Riffing off popular phenomena, such as Harry Potter and the X-Men, this title sets teen angst-y situations in a world populated with cat-eared prom queens, the Everlasting Boy, and superpowered jocks. Most of the strips are a page-long, with the exception of the never-before-seen 40-page story arc that concludes the series. While at times these snippets may confuse readers because of their brevity and often weighty existential themes, these snapshots often center on the same cast of characters, each of whom teens get to know more deeply by the book's end. The mostly black-and-white art is divided in a range of single, full-page to six panels, and rare bursts of color are deftly used to moving effect. Marsha, the misanthropic witch with a crush on her female best friend; Frances, the boundary-pushing artist; and Cheddar, the athlete trying to find the meaning of life, among others, stand out as the more fully developed protagonists, but readers will find bits of themselves in many of the realistic characters. Poking fun at the "Chosen One" mythos, Tamaki has created a stellar graphic novel that combines her slice-of-life expertise and clean, uncluttered art style. VERDICT A must-have volume reminiscent of Alan Moore's Watchmen (DC Comics, 1987) and her and Mariko Tamaki's This One Summer (First Second, 2014) in sensibility and Raina Telgemeier's works in appearance.-Shelley Diaz, School Library Journal © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.