Welcome to School Spirit!
Being aware that an archive of well over 1000 strips is a bit daunting, here is a brief run through of what School Spirit is all about. Feel free to jump in anywhere you wish, but I’m aware reading through from go to whoa will take a while! Clicking the mini comics will take you to the story arc in question.
Quiet Casper is best mates with Cody, the little larrikin in the hat with a big C on it. The two of them are ‘invisible nobodies’ when it comes to popularity. Cody proclaimed himself Casper’s best mate on Casper’s first day of school, and the two are all but inseparable since. Early on in the story, they became aware of ‘ghosts’ haunting the cemetery next door to the school but it appears they are the only two who can see them. It was while returning to the cemetery to get Cody’s hat after a late night adventure that they first meet Wendy, the spirit.
Being members of the Grade 5/6 class of Miss Conway, it is only a matter of time before Casper becomes aware of the Schoolyard Beauty, Chastity, and her two friends Liberty and Pandora. And promptly falls head over heels in love with her. Unfortunately, being twelve, she is too far above them to even notice the presence of a lowly eleven year old.
Meanwhile, Cody has a bit of a thing for his teacher, Miss Conway, and he and the kids involve themselves in her wish to experience the joys of France. Cody shows his heart of gold (where the other kids can’t see, of course!) with a special present for Miss Conway.
Throughout the story the kids meet up with a few other spirits in the cemetery, namely the Groundsman, Old Bill, a quiet World War I Light Horseman simply known as the Soldier, and a grumpy, sour old fellow called Fos.
The children become aware that their friend Grace‘s grandfather, who happens to be Mr Kelly, the principal of the school, seems to have Alzheimer’s. In only the way the School Spirit kids can, they set about asking the Spirits what a memory is, and how to get Mr Kelly’s back.
The boys can’t quite keep the Spirits a secret forever though, and before long Grace starts to have her own suspicions, before learning that you can sense their presence by the smell of fresh cut grass. So, naturally, she heads off to see if it’s true in quite a lengthy story arc.
In the last few years, the kids became aware of two younger boys making a friendly nuisance of themselves in the schoolyard. Jackson and Didj, from the Grade 3/4 class, appeared and gave the older kids, Chastity in particular, the sense that they weren’t going to recognise their rightful place lower down on the pecking order as they should.
Grace, meanwhile, realised that, while she couldn’t actually SEE any spirits, the could actually HEAR Wendy speaking. They came to an agreement where Grace would allow Wendy to travel in her body from time to time, to remember in a way what it was like to be alive. They gave this arrangement the name of Piggybacking.
Eventually, Grace and Wendy discovered that, under the right circumstances, there was just the smallest chance they could do more than just hear each other speak – thanks to a quick trip to the toilets during class time.
And finally, just at the end of 2011, we learned a little something more about Chastity and the facade she displays in public compared to the character she lets out in private when she left school to find a not so welcome guest had beaten her home.
And that’s pretty well where the main story is up to, with lots of little side events and adventures along the way.
The kids hope to see you amongst the archive sometime in the very near future!