Webcomic Weekly: ‘When School Is Torture’ Explores Autism & School Avoidance

Webcomic Weekly, online comics of all kinds for you to explore. This week, Newtsoda or DeeNewtsoda or Dominique R. Morris presents When school is torture… a comic about autism and ‘school avoidance’.

It’s another short Twitter comic, just six pages, but that doesn’t make it any less powerful. Newtsoda’s experience of schools as an autistic child traumatised by a school system that’s just not set up for autistic children is a heartbreaking thing, the idea that we put far too many children through this…


The six pages paint a vivid picture of trauma, burnout, and the development of complex PTSD, none of it the fault of the autistic child, all of it the fault of the school system insisting on there only being one ‘correct’ way of doing things. But when that ‘correct’ way leads to children injured by the simple act of going to school daily, it’s obvious that something should change.

And that’s why comics such as this that are so important. It’s up to everyone to make a difference, to learn the problems, to find solutions, and pieces like this, honest, traumatic, and upsetting, yet making the point that it shouldn’t be this way, that should educate and inform.


The narrative itself is simple and straightforward, presenting these intensely personal and traumatising facts of the school experience for an autistic child. But whilst the narrative is presented in documentary fashion, the imagery used is anything but, and it’s the contrast that really makes this so effective.

The stark colours, mixed with shapes deliberately made spikey, uncomfortable – it’s in sharp thorns on tendrils reaching out, in the sharp edges of panels closing in, swords, scissors, all of them cutting across the narrative. It turns the simple info dump in the captions into something packed with raw, brutal emotion. It’s cleverly done, the contrasting styles of writing and art making all the difference to what you read.

It’s something that reaches its zenith with page 3 and the perfect allegorical imagery. The child’s wings not so much clipped as hacked off, crippling the child from their first entry into school, something that inevitably leads to ever-increasing problems throughout school and into adulthood.


There has to be, there most definitely should be another way, something we end the comic on, the notion of Covid and the pandemic quarantine showing us that different ways of schooling can be found. Now all we need to do is petition those with the power to make changes to put those changes into effect.

As it is, When School is Torture is a perfect little thing, highly recommended, educational, informative and informed, and executed so well.

You can find the comic here on Twitter, follow @DeeNewtsoda, and go look at her Tumblr site.

Whilst on her Tumblr site, I also came across these other little comics, two and three pages, detailing other aspects of autistic life… similarly informed and informative, just as much essential reading for us all…



Webcomic Weekly, online comics of all kinds for you to explore. This week, Newtsoda or DeeNewtsoda or Dominique R. Morris presentsCOMICONRead More

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