School Spirit - 500 Strips
Submitted by Dutch! on November 13, 2007 - 06:12
Today (13th November, 2007), School Spirit published online its 500th regular strip. It has been four years since its inception and the strip has undergone a few major changes, particularly a move from black and white through grey shading and the into full colour. The original strips are now all fully coloured as well, which generally gives the entire archive a consistent colour scheme. The artwork remains relatively consistent over the period with the character designs of the first period very recognisable against the current style.
The strip itself features a gaggle of Australian primary school children, focusing on the two boys Casper and Cody. The cemetery next door to the schoolground is inhabited by several spirits of different periods including a World War I digger and Wendy, a spirit of a young girl about the same age as our two heroes.
The story meanders around the central plot, much like a child's concentration will meander around a particular goal, flitting about from adventure to adventure before returning to the central theme. That theme currently involves the boys unravelling the secret pasts of several of the spirits, which culminates with the 500th strip today where the boys have rediscovered for Wendy some friends her own age.
The dialogue of the strip is blatantly Australian, a feature that has both caused the strip to be accepted and enjoyed and also criticised for, among other things, pushing back a larger audience and overdoing the accent. While it's quite probable that the dialogue used in the strip isn't as common in major Australian cities, you will often hear similar lingo in the more regional country towns, so in that regard the dialogue is true to life and will remain a staple feature of the strip.
If you prefer to have a decent lead up to the 500th strip instead of just jumping right in like a frog on a rock, then a decent starting point might just be at the beginning of the storyline Wendy's Saturday.
With 500 strips, nearly 50 larger Special strips littering the archives covering various historical events and cultural days of the Australian calendar, a Strine dictionary to help foreigners decipher some of the more colourful phrases, and an update schedule of three strips a week with not a single missed update in its official history since June 12th, 2004, School Spirit is a friendly, innocent and laconic Australian webcomic for the young at heart.
If I haven't sold you by now, you're probably a Kiwi.