RELEASE DATE: 18TH AUGUST
The School for Extraterrestrial Girls is a comic book series that, as the name suggests, is firmly focused on high-school drama and girls trying to figure out who they really are - in this case, rather literally. The story opens with Tara Smith, a young lady who spends most of her time in a strict routine, keeping her head down and trying to avoid being noticed by her classmates. She has thus far succeeded in being the quiet, weird one that nobody talks to.
That is until one very bad day in which her daily routine goes very, very wrong. Nothing goes right and the result is that she suddenly discovers that when she gets stressed, she explodes into flames (hence the title of the book). The next thing she knows, a shadowy secret agency picks her up and informs her that she is, in fact, an alien and has had her alien form suppressed for her entire life, and can either go and study at a secret high-school for her kind or be deported to an alien world she’s never even heard of.
This entire premise is a neat way of exploring some very serious real-world issues in a light-hearted and teen-friendly sort of way. The writing is pretty straightforward; it’s a teen drama, and one of the characters spends most of her time lamp-shading the fact that the various dramatic reveals can be found on TV Tropes. Despite all of this, it’s a huge amount of fun, but don’t read too deeply into any of it.
Jamie Noguchi’s art fits the story very well, toggling between the mundane character design of the schoolgirls in their human disguises and then going all out when it comes to the transformation into alien. It’s a smooth visual style, not too exaggerated but distinctive enough. It’s a strong blend between a Saturday morning cartoon vibe and more exaggerated alien model designs. This is a fun book, suitable for anyone looking for a light read and an ideal choice for young teens.