A collection of self-contained strips, SuperMutant Magic Academy follows the journey of a high school class of magicians and misfits as they battle not villains or wizards, but their own existential minds. Each character questions the meaning of life in a whimsical, humorous context, with entertaining twists and turns throughout the year of the group’s life. The book ends with prom night and the question: is life a purposeless void? And if it is, can it still be enjoyable?
This book was an interesting, amusing read that I greatly enjoyed from a philosophical standpoint. I laughed at the jokes and pondered the more thoughtful moments. Some characters’ asides, be it random students’ adventures or the running tale of an everlasting boy, added a peaceful intermission to the heavy intellectual content of the rest of the book. I especially enjoyed the pages that followed an arc, such as the prom portion, as its commentary on society and existential crises was poignant and well-addressed.
One thing that disappointed me about the read was the lack of cohesiveness and varying strip quality. Inconsistency in the artwork, especially the occasional drawings that looked like they were made in five minutes or in a car, made the read less enjoyable for me. Cohesiveness in regards to the strips sometimes feeling pointless or filler was also bothersome. Since the strip is a collection of a web-serialized comic, I understand these problems come with the territory, but I would have preferred the lower-quality strips to be excluded. I also think more of the aforementioned arcs could have enhanced the story further, as the same structure grew old after a while.
While this work did have its issues, for those who prefer self-contained strips, I recommend this as a PLEASE READ. I loved the philosophical content and enjoyed how much thought it spurred for me. Go ahead and check it out, you won’t regret it!