Genre: Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Boom! Box on August 17, 2016
My thanks to the publisher for providing me with a digital review copy. No compensation was provided for this review, and all opinions are my own.
James Tynion IV teams up with artist Rian Sygh for an incredible yet earnest story about finding a place to fit in when you’re kinda an outcast.
When Jory transfers to the private, all-boys school St. Genesius, he figures joining the stage crew would involve a lot of just fetching props and getting splinters. To his pleasant surprise, he discovers there’s a door backstage that leads to different worlds, and all of the stagehands know about it! All the world’s a stage…but what happens behind the curtain is pure magic!
Holy hell was this ever adorable! If you like cute, sweet reads, diversity, and want to dip your toe into the big wide world of comics, then The Backstagers #1 is for you.
Jory is nervous and intimidated on his first day at St. Genesius, an all boys school; he’s living in a new city, he doesn’t know anyone at the school, and he doesn’t usually fit in with other guys. At his mom’s insistence, Jory tries to make a go of things at St. Genesius by joining the drama club in hopes of meeting some like-minded people…or at the very least, beefing up his college applications. But soon Jory finds that the real drama – and adventure, fun, and friendship – isn’t found on stage, but behind it.
THE BACKSTAGERS #1 is all about the guys behind the scenes of the school’s award-winning arts program: the stage hands, lighting designers, prop masters, and set builders. They’re all loveable misfits who immediately make Jory feel welcome, and I’m excited to learn more about each of them. In just 25 pages, Tynion IV and Sygh provide a very solid introduction to Jory and the rest of the backstagers (my favourite is Hunter, obviously) which is an impressive accomplishment.
The artwork also perfectly complements the text, and I especially loved the vibrant colours used to depict the shifting tunnels and magical doorways backstage. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention? Not only is backstage more fun and chill than on stage, but it’s also magical. Literally.
The Backstagers #1 introduces a diverse cast of dudes, hints at some super cute queer relationships, and celebrates the realities of being a misfit and finding your people. I’m eagerly awaiting the release of the first volume, and I highly recommend this all ages single issue. It’s perfect for fans of Lumberjanes, adults and young readers alike!