About SuperMutant Magic Academy, Briefly

Hi, my name is Jillian Tamaki. I am an illustrator and cartoonist. I also teach illustration at the School of Visual Arts in NYC.

SuperMutant Magic Academy is a webcomic that I started in 2010 on a whim. I had been asked to contribute a comic to Marvel’s Strange Tales II anthology and, despite having no real knowledge of the superhero genre, had a lot of fun. What I did read as a kid was a lot of Archie comics and strips like Calvin and Hobbes, The Far Side, For Better or For Worse (the usual suspects). So I suppose SMMA is kind of a blend of all those things. I think of it as a diary of sorts too.

The comic started, and has largely remained, as a fun outlet that exists apart from the typical work that I do– mostly highly polished illustration for clients. SMMA has been a place where I have complete freedom and can play with the comic form in a casual way. (There is nothing casual about making a graphic novel-length book. I’ve done one graphic novel, SKIM, and am currently working on another one, Awago Beach Babies.)

SMMA won an Ignatz for best webcomic at SPX 2012, received an honourable mention in The Best American Comics 2012 anthology, and appeared on the long-list for Slate’s first Cartoonist Studio Prize.

Drawn & Quarterly will be publishing a book collecting the online strips plus new material in Spring 2015.

I don’ t post on specific days, but there are usually 1 or 2 new comics per week. You can follow on Tumblr or via RSS. I’m also on Twitter.

I went to public highschool in Calgary, Alberta, Canada in the late ’90s.