Disclaimer: August’s theme has proven to be a tad too difficult for me. But I found a comic that fits into July’s theme perfectly. I hope you all forgive me for writing about that instead.
If there ever was a comic that hits you with deep and important truths right from the beginning, Boom!Box’s newest The Backstagers is it. “Boys are scary, and they fart a bunch,” begins Jory, the comic’s hero, “always farting, so much farting. Take me home, away from farting!” Truer words have never been spoken. Nowadays you don’t even need to be in close physical proximity to boys to sense all the farting, as twitter and reddit will do the trick. Oh, I apologize, I got a little derailed.
The Backstagers is a wonderful new young adult series that came out just a few weeks ago. The comic follows Jory, the farting averse protagonist, who transfers into an all-boys school and attempts to find his crowd. As you can guess from the title and the cover, his crowd ends up being a group of 4 other boys who work in the depths of the school’s theatre. Without spoiling too much, the backstage ends up being the place where all the coolest stuff happens.
Even though the comic’s all-boys character lineup is not necessarily a selling point, I’d argue that The Backstagers is an all-boys book done right. There are so many cool and different boys: actor boys, introverted boys, fancy boys, strong boys, funny boys, cute boys. Oh boy… Props (get it?) to the comic’s team for managing to establish 5 distinctive personalities of the backstagers, plus some of the ensemble cast, in just the first issue, most of which is packed with action. The high ratio of boys and action per page did at times make The Backstagers feel like a caped comic. That’s hardly an accident as James Tynion IV is well known for his work at DC Comics, particularly on various Batman titles. That being said, please don’t get scared away if the comics by the big two are not quite your thing. Very few Marvel or DC comics boast the same fun friendship per page of comics ratio as The Backstagers.
Rian Sygh’s art is simple yet absolutely gorgeous. With the aid of Walter Baiamonte’s colours, The Backstagers is a treat to look at. Rian recently posted some sketches from when “The Backstagers was still in it’s infancy.” Feel free to check it out if you’re into the behind-the-scenes aspect of comics.
Everything in the The Backstagers comes together to create a comic that is simply fun to read. This has been a recurring theme with Boom!Box’s releases for a while. I don’t think there is a publisher that is putting out comics that are quite as genuinely entertaining. Due to that Boom!Box is quickly becoming my go-to publisher if asked for comic recommendations. Lumberjanes, Giant Days, Power Up, and Jonesy are all top-notch comics that can be enjoyed by both new comic readers as well as those who have been reading funny books for a while. The Backstagers is yet another quality addition to that impressive growing lineup.