Pullbox Reviews School For Extraterrestrial Girls, volume 2- Class is back in session

  • School for Extraterrestrial Girls #2: Girls Take Flight
  • Papercutz
  • Written by Jeremy Whitley
  • Illustrated by Jamie Noguchi
  • Flats by Shannon Lilly & Brett Grunig
  • Letters by Wilson Ramos Jr
  • 132 pages
  • In stores November 28, 2023

Their former school is compromised, exposing Tara, Misako, Summer, and Kat, to possible danger from unknown alien forces. They are forced to relocate to a new hidden school–The School for Extraterrestrial Boys! Located on a hidden island in the arctic north, the new campus has a mysteriously warm summer climate, a beautiful lake, and dozens of sinister mysteries!

There’s no getting around it, so for people who did not read the first instalment and are unfamiliar, we’re just going to make the Hogwarts comparison right off the bat. We’ve got students of different backgrounds, all united by the fact that they’re all extraterrestrials who have a knack for getting themselves and their peers into trouble. Coincidentally, given their various aptitudes and abilities, the core group of besties (Tara, Misako, Kat, Zvenislava, & Summer) is also a fair hand at getting themselves out of trouble.

Cue hijinks and property damage.

In the first book, the titular girls’ school was left in disrepair. This leads us into the opening of the second volume, as the students are transferred to a temporary campus on the corresponding boys’ school while repairs are made. The girls are brought to the new grounds, introduced to the boys’ school faculty and students, and start to develop a whole new round of trouble.

Cue hijinks and shenanigans.

 I feel like I need to point out that I am not the target demographic for School For Extraterrestrial Girls. That said, I had very little trouble getting into the story and finding something to really like about the players. Up front, this is a character driven story, hitting on the usual themes of friendship & acceptance. That it also happens to be chock full of space aliens of all shapes & sizes, set against an intergalactic backdrop, is secondary. Jeremy Whitley handles his cast with humor and a skill that would come from a deep familiarity, nothing too shocking given that this is his second outing with them.

One point that took getting used to is that Whitley doesn’t settle for just one point of view character. As may be expected with any teenagers, terrestrial or extra, there’s a non-stop inner monologue with a prevalent theme of “what did he/she/they mean by that?”. The indicator as to whose thoughts we’re listening in on is, in two cases, the color of the narrative boxes (pale green for Tara & pale blue for Misako). In the other case, readers are treated to “handwritten” text taken from Kat’s own “Love & War Journal”. Excepting those obvious entries, I had to double back at one point to get the color scheme straight. Once I had it down, the often-rapid-fire switches between perspectives was a great tactic for Whitley to let readers dive deeper into the characters in “real time”.

Fans of manga will have fun with artist Jamie Noguchi’s nods to the style in a use of exaggerated expressions, gestures, & designs. In most other areas, Noguchi maintains a more straightforward attitude in his work, with a clean illustrative style and layout design that’s easy to get into and follow.  His work with the characters is fantastic, building on personalities with some expressive facial details. Where I was most impressed is Noguchi’s ability to follow the humor found in Jeremy Whitley’s writing, adding to it with clever visual cues.

Kudos go out to letterer Wilson Ramos Jr, who keeps up with the craziness happening in these pages and makes sense of it all. For the most part, the text is clear & easy to follow (not generally a fan of the handwritten-looking fonts as they aren’t always easy on old eyes). Letterers don’t usually get the credit they deserve, but they can make or break a comic and anyone who’s run across an example of the bad is going to know what I mean.

This creative team is firing on all cylinders. I’ve admitted that I’m not really the target audience for School for Extraterrestrial Girls, but I still had a good time reading it. The characters are well done and thought out, even if they do fill in the normal set of archetypes (if we’re being totally honest, a trope doesn’t get to be a trope unless it’s been around long enough to become a proven quantity). It’s just an easy read that should be a good time for readers of all ages.

Final Score: 10/13

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

ThePullbox.com is a part of ThePullbox LLC © 2007-2024