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The Backstagers, Vol. 1: Rebels Without Applause

(The Backstagers #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  3,903 ratings  ·  769 reviews
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 beyon
Paperback, 112 pages
Published July 25th 2017 by BOOM! Box
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  3,903 ratings  ·  769 reviews

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Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: queer
Heckin’ adorable honestly. I’m obsessed.
I love this so MUCH! I am a musical theatre geek. I rarely think of the backstage crew and this story is all about the quirky people who help run the show. To top it all off, there is a door under the stage that leads to a place of magical theatre and you can get lost there. I love the characters, the art, the musical actors and how they are made fun of. This is perfect for me. LOVE! The only thing missing is the Lesbian Backstager.

I had so much fun with this exciting read. Anyone who did high
David Schaafsma
How is I am the last in the house to read this first volume of a series?! Because there are three middle schoolers who have this fall been involved in a musical--two in the chorus, one backstage! The kids liked it a lot. It's the story of an all-boys school theater production, with the vain actors seen against the more grounded backstage nerds. You get to see the lights guy, the sets folks, the stage crew, all of it. And there's this magical portal fantasy element I wasn't all that into. What I ...more
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love the atmosphere of this book (magical unknown doors filled with wonders BACKSTAGE!) and the characters are awesome and there is someone for everyone to connect with. I think this story is going to be full of awesome friendships and adventures and I can't wait for more!
Aug 17, 2018 rated it liked it
I hated the art but the concept has a lot of potential. The book was kind of boring until our main character actually went backstage 2/3rds of the way through the book.

Received an advance copy from Boom! and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was fun and imaginative. You do need some suspension of disbelief -- not so much for the whole "hidden dimension of freakiness in the basement" which all fantasy readers are accustomed to, but for the ongoing hazards these kids are facing for the sake of supporting the theater department, who are all narcissistic asshats. And Sasha, why is Sasha even there? Does he do anything useful, ever?

The art is cute, although I would much prefer if it looked like the more realistic cover, which is by
Jul 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
A cute comic that reminded me of how much I loved doing crew.

Watch me discuss this comic in my July wrap up:
Maria (Big City Bookworm)

*Note: The first issue of The Backstagers by James Tynion IV was provided to me via NetGalley through the publisher Boom! Box. This does not effect my opinion in any way.


Well wasn’t that just fun and adorable. I don’t remember the last time I read something so happy and colourful. I know, I have no soul apparently. Anyways, this was just a refreshing and unique read compared to what I’m used to and I absolutely loved reading it! I read it as individual issues and it was so hard to be patient a
Sylwia (Wish Fulfillment)
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Why I Recommend Bumping This UP On Your TBR:
I LOVED THIS SO MUCH! This contains: a hot guy being fat and most likely attracted to men, at least two protagonists of color, and men being allowed to experience all sorts of emotions. I love all of the protagonists, by the way! This also highlights healthy communication and conflict resolution between friends. Aside from all, it's an exciting fantasy setting for fans of Gravity Falls and any other supernatural-stuff-hidden-in-the-real-world types of
Alice (MTB/Alice Tied The Bookish Knot)
Even though I loved the concept (new boy at a private school, joining a drama club, making friends), the storyline just moved far too slow for me. Most of the illustrations were bright, colourful and eye-catching. Didn't capture my full interest unfortunately.
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very good, very gay, very like Lumberjanes. With boys. After school. With more crying.

Also the McQueens are trash and need to be put in a very small box.
Aug 15, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

I'm so happy I finally got the chance to read this comic book! I think that this volume did a lot of groundwork that is probably going to evolve into the main storyline of the second one and let me tell you, I cannot wait to discover the mystery that the backstage has to offer. I think that the backstage concept with all its rooms and creatures is very interesting and I'm really looking forward to reading more about it.
Jan 09, 2019 rated it liked it
The art is AMAZING!
The concept is so cool. I'm still getting the hang of comic books which are not action heavy or have a distinct focus on sci-fi/superheroes, so something like this is out of my comfort zone. For me this is more like a breakaway read, and I liked it.
Skye Kilaen
Diverse, deeply caring series about a group of boys in a private high school who work backstage in the theater. It so happens that said backstage isn't exactly normal. New kid Jory finds a world of magic there, but more importantly, a world of friendship. This series allows its boys and young men to be full people with a full range of emotions, and that is such a powerful thing in a culture of toxic masculinity. Hat off to all the creators for making this gentle, safe space for all these charact ...more
May 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I wasn't a big fan of the mystical portal part of this story. The reason was that the characters weren't consistent in their interactions with it. In one scene they would talk about how dangerous it was and then a few scenes later they would casually walk in there to get supplies. I did like the parts that focused on the character interactions in the drama club. Perhaps I would have enjoyed this more if the fantasy elements were taken out and it was just about drama club.
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Another recommendation from Bianca on Episode 145 - awkward teens unite in the group of students working backstage, in the way that diverse and unique teens are always stronger together and find one another. There is also an entire secret world with changing hallways and tiny creatures, allowing for many exciting adventures. ...more
Kadi P
Mediocre. So “cute” I want to throw up and there was next to no substance or plot. Every emotion was an extreme hyperbole of what emotions are and the dangerousness of the backstage rooms/tunnel was a facade that couldn’t be delivered.

Perhaps most infuriatingly, no real answers were given as to what the hell the tunnel was and this wouldn’t have been a problem if Jory hadn’t spent a whole issue asking questions about it. Why create the intrigue and then not supply even half a real answer?


This was a really fun graphic novel about the kids working backstage at a high school theatre. It's an all-boys school, and it has at least four queer guys (+ a really cool girl who doesn't go there but appears in the plays). Also, asshole rich privileged actor kids. Oh, and magic tunnels.

but okay seriously how can you end it like that
Holly ✨
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
So this graphic novel was charming. That’s the first adjective that pops into my head. I went into this blind and was pleasantly surprised with the plot. The art style is gorgeous, the colours (oh my god) and how they get more pink for crushes is so sweet. Overall this was a charmingly, surprise read!
Shan( Shans_Shelves) 💜
This was super cute and really unique. RTC

I'm off to the next volume. 🙂💕
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you are/were a theater kid of any sort read this book!
Gemma ♕ antari.and.the.books
This was so weird and wonderful! I loved it!
Jes Reads
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't know what I was expecting when I picked up this comic (I honestly just grabbed it because James also wrote this and I've been loving The Woods), but this has become some of my favorite characters in a comic ever.

Firstly this comic follows a group of boys at an all boys school that are what they call "the backstagers", or rather the stage hands for the drama club. But there's so much more than meets the eyes back stage. There is a doorway that leads to different rooms, some amazing, some
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have always had a love for graphic novels, but I have to enjoy the art style. Even if the story is amazing, it won't hook me unless the pictures speak to my creative soul.

I liked the looks of this graphic novel from the start. It was colorful and had a teenage quality that fit the synopsis. It revolves around a new kid at school named Jory. The story follows him on his first day as he tries to find a place he can fit in. What I liked most about this story is that it took an awkward, self-consc
Rod Brown
May 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
When I cracked the cover on this, I was expecting a slice-of-life story about high school theater a la Drama. I was unprepared for the fantasy elements, and once they were introduced I was too thrown off to really get into the story. It didn't help that the characters didn't seem to have much personality beyond their diversity and quirk check boxes. And in spite of the inclusivity, there were no female characters for much of the book, but I suppose that could be expected of a story set in an all ...more
Colona Public Library
Taking theater in high school and volunteering with community theater when I was graduated this is basically as magical and mysterious the theater felt to me! There is just something special about being a part of a production, it's a world of it's own that end when the curtain closes but will stick with you forever. (I gave it an extra star for appealing to my thespian nature.) The story is just getting started so it is a little slow. They want to establish the world and characters first. The ar ...more
Maggie Gordon
I'm... not 100% sure I understand what I just read, but it was rather fun! The Backstagers is about the crew of high schoolers who take care of the behind-the-scenes stuff in their drama department. What makes the series stand out, however, is the fact that backstage is actually magic, and this is a book about young boys that act far differently than the normal offerings available to dudes. These are funny, sympathetic, queer, excitable boys, and it's rather refreshing to see such a wide range o ...more
Dec 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting comic book. I picked up from the library because of the cover and because I really like the writier James Tynion IV. If you didn't know he also writes the The Woods which is as science fiction comic book series. Essentially this series is a about a group of guys that work backstage for a high school; however, the backstage area of the auditorium is not what it appears to be. It's magical. I loved the magical elements of this book as well as the friendship and bond formed ...more
Jory is the new kid at an all-boys high school and his mom is encouraging him to join an after school activity. In stead of being bullied or hiding out in the bushes like he has been, Jory gathers up his courage and tries out theater. He finds his way back stage and there he finds his place among the Backstagers--a crew of friends who not only assist in putting on shows for the performers, they also guard the magic portal that is the best kept secret of back stage history.

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Prior to his first professional work, Tynion was a student of Scott Snyder's at Sarah Lawrence College. A few years later, he worked as for Vertigo as Fables editor Shelly Bond's intern. In late 2011, with DC deciding to give Batman (written by Snyder) a back up feature, Tynion was brought in by request of Snyder to script the back ups he had plotted. Tynion would later do the same with the Batman ...more

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