The Backstagers #1 by James Tynion IV & Rian Sygh

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I requested this because I thought it was the bind-up volume to be released in July. I normally do not review single issue comics, because it’s too difficult to get a good reading of them, especially the first volume in an entire series. That being said, I still really loved this, and I have even higher hopes for the actual first volume.

Basically, this is Lumberjanes with an all boy cast. And the best thing about this issue, like Lumberjanes, is the amazing representation in this very diverse cast of kids. I’m all for representation, and it is good to note that the writer, James Tynion IV, is openly Bisexual and the artist, Rian Sygh, is openly Trans.

And I very openly support Own Voices.

In this issue we are introduced to our main character, Jory, who has recently moved to a new city, which means he is now going to a new school. His new school is an all-boys school, and Jory isn’t the biggest fan of it so far. He feels like an outcast, isn’t making any friends, and just longs for a place to belong like many of us do when we are in high school. He thinks he will never find that place, until he stumbles upon the stage crew of the theater club!

These Backstagers make Jory feel like he finally has a home to escape to. Oh, and they also stumble upon some secret doorways to different places that look magical, so I’m all for reading more and exploring those.

Obviously the theme of being yourself and valuing your individuality is very present in this comic, but it also talks about finding others and creating healthy and lasting friendships of value, and that’s something really important to me. I for sure want to venture deeper into this world and see what else it has to offer. The art is beautiful, the characters are wonderful, and the representation is amazing. I really can’t recommend this enough.

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