Hello, and welcome to “Webcomics Wednesday!” We know that knowledge is power. We also know that power corrupts. It logically follows, therefore, that if you study enough, you’re sure to become an evil mastermind locked away in a Gothic castle somewhere, with subjects placed under your curses. While that might not necessarily be true in the real world, this week’s webcomics focus on the parts of academia that are most certain to have powerful results—wizardry, heroics, and other subjects we all wish we’d studied.
For those of you new to Webcomics Wednesday, it’s a weekly tradition where we choose five webcomics centered around a certain theme. They are chosen and presented in no particular order based on art, story and appeal. This week’s focus is on unusual academia and the lives of its students.
Comic: Angel Academy
Creators: Lasse Muderspack Riishøj and Frederik Have Kiaeskou
In their own words: Three high school students encounter their guardian angel. They thought life ended when you died, she thought those three high school students were normal. They were all wrong. Before they know it they’re deeply entangled in a story about love, murder, fighting and how you face your inner demons.
In our words: At first, Angel Academy appears to be an ordinary manga webcomic, but even from the start there’s a twist: a guardian angel is sent to look over a group of high school friends who are in more trouble than they know. The story gets more interesting as it expands and encompasses many subjects both ordinary and extraordinary.
Comic: Wizard School
Creators: Kevin Kneupper and Robert Rath
In our words: It’s a school of wizardry, and this year there’s a new student, a special one who is destined to save humanity. Sound familiar? Surprisingly, this is not another fan story of Harry Potter. Especially not when you consider the fact that the main character here, the destined hero, is a total jerk. Updated three times a week, Wizard School deviates further and further from its Potter-esque origins to become a completely different adventure, filled with excitement and promise of fun things to come.
Comic: Muse Academy
Creator: Jenny “JJ” Shippen
In her own words: Muse Academy (sometimes abbreviated to MA) is an online fantasy comic series focusing on the adventures of a sixteen-year-old wannabe poet named Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Fairfax. Finding no support or opportunity to expand her talent at home, she enrols [sic] in the mysterious Muse Academy, a deity-run school that – until now – has only been open for immortal students. But being the only mortal in a school full of immortals can be just as dangerous as it is fun. Along the way, Charlie befriends an elf named Brigit and angels named Kipp and Mina, who serve as her greatest allies and protectors at the Academy. But such a unique and powerful school doesn’t come without enemies. Under the watchful gaze of the dean Calliope, Charlie along with Brigit, Kipp and Mina must overcome adversaries such as a Vegas witch, the fearsome faeries of Albion and a human bent on having a mythical collection all his own …
In our words: Although Muse Academy has sadly been on hiatus for a while, this blend of ancient and modern mythology is worth a look. It combines the life of a young poet going to a new school with all sorts of fantasy elements, vivid artwork and a lovable young protagonist.
Comic: Special School
Creator: Andy Mason
In his own words: This is the tale of a government-sanctioned class for super-powered humans, offered as part of the curriculum in a small-town university in upstate New York. The university gets extra funding, the students get course credit and special powers training, the government gets a well-trained, civic-minded generation of super-powered humans with some measure of debt and/or gratitude toward them; everybody’s happy. At least, in theory.
In our words: Iain is handsome and charming, taking a walk with his girlfriend when all of the sudden he’s hit over the head with a shovel. And it doesn’t hurt him one bit. Why is that? Because he’s a superhero, as are all the other students in his “special” school. This comic is a quirky adventure told in strip form, a fast and unpredictable read.
Comic: Overlord Academy
Creators: Carly “Thae” Dorsey and Charity “Nova” Youngblood
In their own words: A horrible alphanumeric mistake lands a would-be oboe virtuoso at a school for Evil Overlords in training. Forced to complete his education there, he’s taken in by a group of students: a sometimes-couple of nymphomaniac ninjas, the prerequisite super-powered Japanese schoolgirl, and a Frenchman with a rather disconcerting love of automatic weaponry — and men. Together, they battle aliens, zombies, magical girls, and the forces of good and learn that sometimes when you want to take over the world, you have to save it first.
In our words: What happens when a teenage oboe virtuoso accidentally winds up attending a school meant for evil overlords in training? Whatever it is, it certainly makes for a good read! Overlord Academy succeeds in being amusing and unique, with lovably evil characters and eye-catching situations.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s look at academia, and please come back next week for another selection of Webcomics Wednesday. In the meantime, tell us if we missed anything in this week’s selection. What webcomics do you read? Is there something that we haven’t featured yet that we should? Let us know! We love getting feedback and suggestions for future material!