Aki Alliance: Free Online Schoolgirl Graphic Novel Is Great!

I don’t know why Ryan Estrada is so generous, but he’s posted a complete 200-page graphic novel, Aki Alliance, for reading at the link or download in PDF form. (It was previously posted as an updating webcomic at Lunchbox Funnies.)

Aki Alliance cover

Aki’s in fifth grade at the Nakagawa Girl’s School, and like many youngsters, she’s very good at picking up interests and dropping them just as quickly. As a result, everyone pretty much hates her, because she’s let down the baseball team, the smart kids, the band, and all the other school clubs. In an attempt to save her reputation, she makes a bet that she can make friends with everyone in the class.

I liked seeing a girl who meant well but didn’t think through the ramifications of her choices have to clean up after herself. The premise, of how Aki makes friends with different girls, lends itself well to chapters, and the message, about avoiding preconceptions, was cool. The situations, names, and jokes are silly and funny. And I really liked the diversity of Estrada’s styles, from manga-influenced character design to comic strip-style cartooning to faux-scrapbook cut paper art (complete with mock Scotch tape!). This is an outstanding graphic novel well worth your time to read … especially for free!

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