Review #119 // The Backstagers (Issues #1-8) – James Tynion IV

The Backstagers, Vol. 1 (The Backstagers, Volume One)

When Jory transfers to a new school, his mother wants him to join a club to make friends. Not knowing what else to do, he joins the drama club–only to be ridiculed off the stage. He instead joins the Backstagers, joining their adventures in the magical area behind the curtain.


Why this book?: I’d heard it had queer characters, and it looked really fun. Plus, I don’t read enough comics!

I’ll try to keep this one brief, because I’m not really sure how each issue was released in volumes. From what I’ve heard, Vol. 1 is issues 1-4, but I read them by issue, and have read 1-8. I’ll try to be vague, I guess.

All I knew about The Backstagers was that it had queer characters. I honestly didn’t even think about what being a “backstager” might mean, despite having been one myself for a few years. Ha! And, it’s true, really, when I think about how James Tynion imagined the world behind the curtain. It’s a special place where magic happens, and Tynion’s unique view on it was really entertaining.

I loved how diverse and unique all of the characters were. I easily fell in love with all of them, so much so that I can’t even say which is my favorite! For some reason, Jamie and Timothy really stuck with me, although they definitely weren’t high school students! If they were seniors in HS, then that means they’re the same age as me, and I find that unlikely. Either way, I loved their character. I loved Jory and Hunter’s relationship, and how it developed. Their relationship is what I’m describing when I mean well-developed. It never seemed forced or odd. It just felt natural. I also really adored Beckett, and related a lot with them and their experiences. Also Sasha and Aziz’s friendship was so hilariously adorable, I just couldn’t get enough of them. These characters meshed with each other so well, that I couldn’t even imagine them without each other.

In terms of the plot, I found it interesting and entertaining, if not a little predictable. It almost felt like there was so much development into the idea of the plot, but little in execution. I was expecting more when the climax came and ended, and have to admit that I was a little disappointed. I don’t want to say more than that, but I will say that I thought, while disappointing, that it was a heartwarming ending. Just, it could have been done better.

Final Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall?

This comic was probably my first queer comic that I’ve read, and it was so adorable and cute. The characters were some of my favorites ever, and I loved the romantic and platonic relationships developed on page.

Would I Recommend?

Oh, totally, especially if you’re looking for comics with queer characters. I’m still looking for comics with queer characters, so this one was a welcome addition to my small collection.


The Backstagers, Vol. 1 (The Backstagers, Volume One)

Additional Information:

Published: July 25th, 2017

Publisher: BOOM! Box

Page Count: 112

Genre: Comic/Fantasy/YA

Synopsis: via Goodreads

All the world’s a stage . . . but what happens behind the curtain is pure magic literally! 

When Jory transfers to an all-boys private high school, he’s taken in by the only ones who don’t treat him like a new kid, the lowly stage crew known as the Backstagers. Not only does he gain great, lifetime friends, Jory is also introduced to an entire magical world that lives beyond the curtain. With the unpredictable twists and turns of the underground world, the Backstagers venture into the unknown, determined to put together the best play their high school has ever seen.

James Tynion IV (Detective Comics, The Woods) teams up with artist Rian Sygh (Munchkin, Stolen Forest) for an incredibly earnest story that explores what it means to find a place to fit in when you’re kinda an outcast.

Collects the first four issues.