My little sister has a little sistery super power. When she’s sick she’s highly infectious to me and only me. We talked on the phone two days ago with about 60 miles between us. Her throat is swollen so bad the doctor put her on steroids to shrink it and open her breathing passage. As kids we called her The Brute because for fun she’d drag our big strong dad around on the floor by his feet. Now she’s on steroids. And I woke up with her sore throat and a fever.
It’s like the library knew The Brute’s germs were coming, knew I wouldn’t want to read read. A happy pile of graphic novels I had on hold finally came in. SuperMutant Magic Academy is perhaps the best sick day book ever.
Knowing nothing of this book, I was confused at first because I was expecting a graphic novel. Instead it’s a collection of web comics. Had I known that, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up. Why not just read it online? I’ll tell me why. Because you won’t.
This may be a first for me. I like books with a narrative. Once I realized this was a collection of mostly 1 page comics about students at a high school for mutants, I put it down and then picked it right back up to just read one or two more. Then a hole swallowed me. I went from being cranky and sleepy to laughing on my couch, tapping our bell. The sick bell is supposed to be used responsibly. It’s my responsibility to interrupt my bf while he’s working, which he loves, and make him read funny comics. Many funny comics.
My favorite is below. It you like the tone of this, you’ll love the book, too.
We get it all here. Angsty teens thinking themselves into a void, a girl so in love with her cute best friend it hurts. There’s prom and prophecy, but mostly ordinary moments made strange. The characters do go through things. If you’re looking for some continuity, it’s there. The writing often feels first drafty and the jokes don’t always land, but when they do it’s wonderful.
The irreverent humor and originality quickly hooked me. A boy craves nachos and guac, and could easily create them, but his wand is so far away.
Best of all is the size. It’s hefty so there’s lots to look forward to. The magic appears here and there, but it’s not the subject. When two friends fly on broom sticks, its not about the flying. Its about trying and failing to not peak at her underwear.
I can’t imagine anyone not enjoying this. And if you lie on the couch looking pathetic enough, maybe my boyfriend will bring you a strawberry popsicle, too. Leave the window open.