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SuperMutant Magic Academy

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  6,509 ratings  ·  938 reviews
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
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Paperback, 276 pages
Published April 28th 2015 by Drawn and Quarterly
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Celty's_heart I suppose it depends on your definition of mutant, but all of the characters have human traits as well as 'mutant' traits to some degree.
I'd like to…more
I suppose it depends on your definition of mutant, but all of the characters have human traits as well as 'mutant' traits to some degree.
I'd like to see your opinion after you've read it.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,509 ratings  ·  938 reviews


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Jesse (JesseTheReader)
Aug 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was strange and hilarious and all sorts of wonderful.
Ariel
Aug 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
A new favourite! What a flippin' hilarious read.

Told in a series of single page comics, this graphic novel explores the final few years of high school at a school for mutant teens. This gave Tamaki the opportunity for impressive larks - this book made me laugh out loud consistently. Some of the strips were so good that I had to take pictures and send them to friends. I think the fact that teenagers were supermutants was used extremely effectively, especially because 1) they were able to do
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Raeleen Lemay
Aug 29, 2015 rated it liked it
*3.5*

THIS WAS SO WEIRD. And I'm a fan of weird, but I found this just plain didn't make sense sometimes. There were tons of single pages that seemed really pointless to me, but maybe I'm just not reading into them enough. I don't know. The book was enjoyable, made me think and/or laugh multiple times, but I wouldn't call it amazing.
Eilonwy
Apr 19, 2016 rated it really liked it

I'm not sure how to rate this at all!

I grabbed this at the library thinking it was a graphic novel, and since I've loved Jillian Tamaki's illustrations in Half World and her cousin Mariko's graphic novels Skim and This One Summer, I was really excited to see what Jillian's work for herself would look like.

This turned out to be a series of mostly single-page comics which feature a few teenage kids from the title school: Adorable fox-girl Wendy; Asian nerd-girl Marsha; rebellious performance
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Jan Philipzig
I guess the title brings to mind the Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters or the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but the students of Jillian Tamaki’s SuperMutant Magic Academy are no aspiring superheroes or magicians – they are mutants like you and me, (more or less) regular teenagers faced with (more or less) regular high-school challenges. This book collects the most popular of Tamaki’s Ignatz-Award-winning webcomic strips (and adds a few new ones): some brilliantly observed, some ...more
Rincey
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I looovvveddd it.

See me talk about it briefly in my March wrap up: https://youtu.be/EFc_Zjs4IZs?t=1m12s
Heidi The Reader
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
At the SuperMutant Magic Academy, strange things happen and everyone looks different, but teenage angst and questions about reality remain the same. There is unrequited love, hormones run amok and popularity problems. There is a young man who can't seem to die, no matter how he tries to end his life. There's an artist who puts herself into shocking situations to underline the pointlessness of reality.

There's a young woman with the head of a lizard who just wants to find a boyfriend and a
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Dov Zeller
When I first got this book out of the library I thought I was getting a graphic novel, and soon discovered that this was something very different. At first I was disappointed and I almost didn’t read it, but then I read a gr friend’s review and that helped me navigate the pages. This book comes out of a web comic I haven’t read. It is not a building narrative, though there are certainly narrative threads. It is more like dailies that are loosely connected because they are all concerned with a ...more
David Schaafsma
Apr 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read this because I had liked her and her cousin Mariko's Skim and This One Summer, which are both more serious and contemplative and moody stories than this, which pretty much seems like it is a collection from her Ignatz award-wnning webcomic by the same name. This is snarlier, smart-assier, funnier by far, representing Jilian's personality in a way Skim and This One Summer may represent Mariko more? Who knows. This one is set in a precocious, bored boarding school which Tamaki makes fun of, ...more
Kelly
Irreverent, absurd, and totally hilarious. Frances is a Queen.
Lex
Where do I even begin? SuperMutant Magic Academy is a series of comics about the students (and some staff members) at SuperMutant Magic Academy. I had originally picked up This One Summer because it looked interesting, but then I saw this one and it won out. I'm definitely going to have to go back get This One Summer, though, because if it's half as good as SuperMutant, I'm going to love it.

I don't even have the words, really, to explain how much I loved it. It was everything I could want out
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Wanda
My first thought on this is that I am wayyyy too old to truly appreciate this graphic novel! I liked the idea of a school for mutants and witches and I’m pretty sure that this would have totally been my jam when I was in junior high school. Because, let’s face it, we all feel like mutants when we’re in junior high.

It was definitely a creative way to illustrate all the problems that we have at that age: where do we fit in? What are our talents? What will be do after graduation? Or even today
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Elizabeth A
Jan 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphix, stories, kids-ya, 2016
Let me start this review by saying that I'm not a fan of the short story format. Why does that matter? Because this book is a collection of connected comic strips. Each page is a single vignette of life as experienced by a group of teens in their final years of high school. Yes, it is boarding school, and the kids are all mutants in some manner, but first and foremost they are teens, so prepare to wallow in vats of teen angst.

The mostly black and white art is really sketchy, which I did love
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Vivian
May 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
This was such a strange read. Very funny at times but also very weird. I didn't expect the commentary on society, culture, feminism and technology but it was much appreciated. Despite the quirkiness of the characters, you can't help but fall in love with them.
Peter Derk
Jan 12, 2016 rated it liked it
The highs were high, and some of the humor was super excellent.

There was a little overuse of a joke type that I feel like crops up in web comics a lot. It goes like this:

Panel 1: Initiation of deep, philosophical discussion. Let's say it's about, I don't know, whether we're truly happy or it's just brain chemicals.

Panel 2: "Are we anything more than juices in our brains? And if so, is there a problem with putting in a fake juice, a Sunny D of sorts, if it makes us happy?"

Panel 3: "And is there
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Jeffrey
Jul 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
Jillian Tamaki is an awesome illustrator, but she's also a hilarious writer. Mashing together Harry Potter and X-Men with teenage coming of age angst... goofy and smart, I hope she makes this a seven book series too. At least.
Raina
Aug 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Jillian and her cousin, Mariko Tamaki, are some of my favorite story-creators out there. This is the first full-published piece exclusively by Jillian that I've read, and it has all the charm of her social media feeds.

It feels like an ongoing webcomic, collected and bound, which, of course, it is. The drawings feel more scrawly than her work in This One Summer or Skim - this world feels less considered, or plotted out. Not a bad thing, tho. I like seeing something from her that feels more Of
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Kailey (BooksforMKs)
There are so many things I hate about this comic. Where to start?
I can't stand all the profanity. That's the big one. It makes my head hurt and contributes nothing of value to the story.
My second problem with this... There is no story that I can discover. It's a series of one-liners and random observations about the world, but I see very little continuity or story line. Which makes it boring.
And thirdly, the characters are hateful and I hate them. They are selfish and mean and stupid and
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Sparkleypenguin
I'm not really sure how I feel about this book. It's kind of weird and has a bunch of thoughts and statements that teenagers don't normally have. Yeah.
Chelsea
Sep 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-star
What a great book to start off 2016 with! I’m not sure I’ve ever read anything where there were so many things I was able to relate to on a personal level. There were multiple times I audibly laughed or said ‘yes!’, and that isn’t something I do often. I seriously want to be besties with the author. Very high 4 stars

SuperMutant Magic Academy is not really a graphic novel, more of a collection of single paged comics that kind of make a story. They follow a large number of characters who attend a
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RJ
Dec 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Finished in one day. God, it's so good. Through one-off doodles about D&D and feminist performance art and prom, Jillian Tamaki creates these flawed magical teenage weirdos who are so different but all deeply relatable. She's a genius. I'm so happy this got an Eisner.

Also: super gay
Anna
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
plot?? i don't know her
Melissa
Kelly was right! This is delightful & wonderful & all of the good adjectives, well worth staying up late to finish, which is my current criteria for excellence.
Kris Sellgren
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, cats
This graphic novel about a boarding school for teens with magical powers is amazing. It puts teen angst in a supernatural context, often with hilarious results, and then it zigs off in unexpected directions. Tamaki is terrific at creating memorable characters. My favorite was Frances the performance artist. The drawing is imaginative. Highly recommended.
Althea J.
Jul 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A MUST READ, my graphic novel-reading friends :)
It will make your heart happy.
I laughed a lot while reading this. And it was so spot on in its depiction of teen-life and the issues that arise. SO MUCH LOVE for this book!!!! It deserves a much more coherent review, along with some favorite images... which I will have to do when I have time. But in the meantime, I highly highly recommend!

EDIT 7/31/15

GREAT NEWS! You can read lots of this book (if not all) on Jillian Tamaki's site:
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Robin Stevens
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Less a coherent narrative than a series of vaguely connected comic strips about superpowered teens (who are just as angsty and emotional as regular teens), this is poignant and funny and gross and sweet. I loved it. (14+)

*Please note: this review is meant as a recommendation only. If you use it in any marketing material, online or anywhere on a published book without asking permission from me first, I will ask you to remove that use immediately. Thank you!*
Lara
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
*2.70 "it was okay and I liked some of it" stars *

I read this because it was highly recommended to me but I didn't really find it amazing. As far as graphic novels go, I have higher standards compared to novels because they are, for one, much more expensive plus you have to consider both the art and the story when doing a review.

Jillian Tamaki's SuperMutant Magic Academy is a graphic novel told in one page stories about high school students with magical abilities. The magic aspect wasn't
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Book Riot Community
I love boarding school settings, magic, and the kinds of stories that make you feel smart/confused/amused all at once. SuperMutant Magic Academy hit all these notes and it’s a comic book. The strip, now anthologized, follows a number of students at a school for paranormal teens— and mostly they have the same issues as “normal” teenagers (boring classes, unrequited crushes, fears of an unknowable future), despite being able to cast spells, disappear, and fly. Tamaki’s balance of the mundane high ...more
Victoria Law
Imagine if Hogwarts had been more diverse. Now imagine if the students at Hogwarts didn't have to worry about Voldemort, death eaters and fighting evil and instead got to spend their teen years worrying about things that teens all over the western world worry about. That's what you get here.

My one disappointment is that this is a book of shorts, kind of like a collection of comic strips, rather than one long narrative. I would have loved to see Tamaki flesh out one overarching plot involving
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Andrew
Mar 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
A lovely mix of surrealism, teen angst, and wry observations about contemporary culture and gender politics. Most strips follow a six panel grid/punchline-at-the-end structure, but it never gets stale. This is partly because Tamaki mixes up her art style frequently, and partly because the story of the cynical, acerbic Marsha and her unrequited crush on her earnest best friend Wendy provides a compelling emotional through-line.
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Jillian Tamaki is a cartoonist and illustrator living in Toronto. A professional artist since 2003, she has worked for publications around the world and taught extensively in New York at the undergraduate and graduate level. She is the co-creator, with her cousin Mariko Tamaki, of Skim and This One Summer, the latter of which won a Caldecott Honor in 2015. She is the author of the graphic novels ...more
“Politicians do important work!

Politicians can eat an important dick!!”
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“Would any of you like to share your career aspirations within the class? Jim?

I dunno, to be honest, I was just hoping to be able to keep the demons away...”
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