I’m Ava Pun and this is my webcomic! Follow the adventures of the elements of the periodic table here at Academy 118, a strange school located at the heart of the universe.
Anybody of any age who loves science!
Every Monday (with some non-zero probability)!
Academy 118 consists of a series of comic episodes. Each episode can be anywhere from 1 to 20+ pages long and is self-contained—you don’t have to read them in order. Clicking on an episode’s title will take you to the first page of that episode. Past episodes can be found in the archive page.
The first stirrings of what would later become Academy 118 began in December 2014 when I was home sick with the flu. Inspired by this xkcd, it was initially a fantasy story simply named 118 in which characters had the power to control the chemical elements. The current Academy 118, with its periodic table personifications, was conceived in August 2015 and has nothing in common with 118 but the name.
I started working on Academy 118’s website in March 2016. Unfortunately, I also injured my wrist that year (for an unrelated reason) and took a break from drawing for a while. After spending the next two years focusing on school, I finally finished the site in December 2018, and here we are today!
Nah! I’m actually studying computer science at the University of Waterloo, but I’ve always been fascinated by the periodic table. I’ve spent a lot of time learning about the stories behind the elements as well as their properties and unusual applications—for example, did you know that antimony is used in camouflage paints?
Some great resources I used while doing research for this comic:
I was surprised at how little information I could find online about making webcomic sites—most of the stuff I found was just drawing or writing advice.
Making a webcomic is really not that difficult! First of all, you’ll need to set up a website:
If you don’t want to learn how to code—it can be frustrating at times—there are sites that will do all the hosting and webcomic engine-ing for you (just google “webcomic sites”). There are also some free “drag-and-drop” website builders out there, but none of the ones I’ve used were really suited for making webcomics.
I love competitive programming and was honoured to represent Canada at the International Olympiad in Informatics 2018! I also do puzzlehunts and occasionally write electronic music inspired by science.