The Backstagers Volume 1 by James Tynion IV + Rian Sygh
Publisher: BOOM! Box
Release Date: July 25, 2017
Summary: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.
My Rating:★★★★☆ ½
My Thoughts: The Backstagers is a fun, colorful, and diverse graphic novel that shows the magic both on and behind the stage! The plot and characters are unique and the art is fantastic!
It’s been quite a while since I’ve read such a fun and vibrant graphic novel! The Backstagers is now definitely a new favorite graphic novel series.
The story follows Jory when he attends a new all-boys high school. With his mother’s new job going to be keeping her late the next few months, she tells him it would be best if he join a club or some sort of after-school activity.
After finding his way into the school theater to check out Drama Club, he literally gets thrust into this new club when Kevin & Blake McQueen, stars of the school’s theater for the past 3 years, give him a task to find ask/find a prop from the backstage crew!
The adventure starts from there when the two of the guys Aziz & Sasha easily begin treating him like part of the crew and give him equipment they need help getting to the rest of the crew: Hunter & Beckett!
He then find himself in magical tunnels that sit just behind the stage door and change randomly! When a large group of “Tool Rats” surround them, Jory does some quick thinking to get them out of the way and save the Backstagers!
He then decides that he wants to join the Backstagers and they easily make him feel welcome! With that, adventures continue as the Jory connects more with the crew and more mysteries are revealed about the magical tunnels.
What made this graphic novel so much fun, was the fact that we get thrust into the story so quickly that we are basically like Jory, very confused in the beginning, but easily falling in love with magic and adventure!
There’s also a lot of diverse representation which was so great, from gay main characters to characters of color (black & Middle-Eastern MC’s/Side-Characters), and Trans rep. (Beckett).
There’s such a seamlessly woven in themes/messages of friendship and acceptance! The crew has such great friendship dynamics and easily got along! Additionally, Jory is unsure if he can even fit in his new school, but after meeting the Backstagers feels much more welcome and included!
The fantasy and magic added into the story was so different and unique, I really loved it! Hoping to get an expansion on it in future volumes, because nearing towards the middle and especially the end, it became quite a larger part to the story!
I also really loved the art-style! Not only was it bright and colorful, but overall it was just a fun art-style that went along great with the story!
I did find some moments to be a little slow paced towards the middle and it would have been great to get more expansion on the darker side of the magic-system when it gets introduced into the story!
The Backstagers follows Jory as he decides to join the Drama Club and easily connects with the backstage crew! Friendship, adventure, and the perfect mix of comedy, are seamlessly woven into this fun + diverse graphic novel that also introduces a unique fantasy element! Cannot wait for Volume 2!