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Stage Dreams

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  1,161 ratings  ·  345 reviews
In this rollicking queer western adventure, acclaimed cartoonist Melanie Gillman (Stonewall Award Honor Book As the Crow Flies) puts readers in the saddle alongside Flor and Grace, a Latinx outlaw and a trans runaway, as they team up to thwart a Confederate plot in the New Mexico Territory. When Flor--also known as the notorious Ghost Hawk--robs the stagecoach that Grace h ...more
Hardcover, 104 pages
Published September 3rd 2019 by Graphic Universe (Tm)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,161 ratings  ·  345 reviews

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Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: queer
This was super quick and charming and I liked it a heckin' ton. My heart! ...more
chan ☆
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
my name is chandler ainsley and it has been 0 days since my last cry

i really didn't expect an auto- download graphic novel from netgalley to get me in my feelings but here we are.

it's a hundred pages of wild western goodness with a trans woman main character and a POC woman main character and it was just so fucking cute. no transphobia or homophobia AT ALL in here and the relationship that developed was just so damn cute.

i went in to this with no expectations which i think enhanced my enjoyment
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
If you've ever caught yourself thinking, "Man, there really aren't enough queer AF westerns in the world, are there?" (I have!), let me tell you, Stage Dreams is everything you've been looking for. It follows the heist of a Latinx woman and her new captive-turned-friend, a lovely trans southern belle escaping her father's wishes that she join the Confederate army. While the story takes place during the Civil War, not much of it actually focuses on that element; primarily, we're here to watch two ...more
mina reads™️
3.5 stars
this was really charming i wish it was longer tho :(
Melanie Gillman
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I had to draw a bunch of horses for this book, and despite that I STILL like it.
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read a few reviews for this graphic novel across the blogosphere and was interested in it, especially because I’m always on the lookout for new discoveries. And I don’t think I’ve ever read a western, so I decided to give it a try.

As it’s just 100 pages long, I didn’t expect a lot of plot or character development, just something fun - and it totally delivered on that aspect. Grace is a trans southern belle running from her family because she doesn’t wanna fight in the war and has dreams of her
Skye Kilaen
A fun, sweet graphic novel about a queer Latina outlaw and a white transgender Army deserter gal, on a mission to steal secrets from the Confederacy. After the outlaw kidnaps the deserter. Oops? Love to see a historical story with some diversity, for sure, and both characters had some fun little personality quirks that really made them come alive.
Oct 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
So sweet and wholesome!!

I just wish it was longer 😭😭 the ending was too abrupt for me, I would have loved to see more of Flor and Grace's adventures!

And the history nerd in me really appreciated the author's historical notes. ❤️

Content warning: racism, sexism, violence (mild), transphobia (implied)

*Book #3 for the Graphics A Thon
Jun 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, netgalley-2019
A cutesy story about a trans person named Grace who's kidnapped by a Latin stage coach robber named Flor. They eventually decide to rob some rich robber barons at a cotillion who are preparing to take the Civil War even more Westward. This is only the first volume and the main plot just starts as this ends. Most of the book is prologue establishing the characters and their personalities. As a cutesy, queer, historical romance, this works. However, as a historical novel itself, people are way too ...more
May 04, 2019 rated it liked it
The ARC of this graphic novel was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Stage Dreams
is a little western graphic novel set in New Mexico. It’s basically the story of Flor, a Latinx outlaw that everyone knows as Ghost Hawk, and Grace, a trans runaway. The two girls crash a Confederate gala and steal an important map but the real plot of this book is the love story that blossoms between the main characters.
The illustrations are in colored pencil and even though
Jan 11, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fact - It is easier to purchase lesbian/gay erotica than LGBTQ graphic novels. It is different from my school days where more of my comics confiscated than totally not mine skin magazines.
This GN made it to the best of LGBTQ Graphic Novels of 2O19 and thankfully the ebook is available on Google Play.

What impresses me the most is, Gillman is the author and illustrator for this. Picturing myself doing the same thing, the paper in the vintage typewriter will have Chapter One, type
Lea (drumsofautumn)

What an absolute delight of a graphic novel!

I found this on a list of queer releases for the second half of the year and when I went to Netgalley and saw that it was Read Now, I picked it up immediately and I don't regret it one bit.

This is about a trans woman who gets kidnapped by a queer Latinx woman and the two end up working together. It's really, really cute, both the art and story and while this style might not be my favourite, I thought it fit the story incredibly well.

It was really lovel
La Coccinelle
That's it? Um... okay. (Maybe there's going to be a sequel or something. I sure hope so. Because this is not a complete story at all.)

While I appreciate the intent of this graphic novel, I'm not sure it worked for me. I had a similar issue with it that I did with Jen Wang's The Prince and the Dressmaker: believability. The issue isn't so much people believing Grace is a girl; there are plenty of examples throughout history that show that it isn't impossible. However, in this book, I felt like I
jess ❈
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Received Stage Dreams through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I picked up this graphic novel because of Chandler Ainsley on YouTube, and she made it sound so enticing and fun!

Which it definitely was!

Stage Dreams is a Western graphic novel set in New Mexico, featuring a wlw relationship and a main character who is trans. I love that diversity rep! Which is the main reason for my adoration of this book honestly.

The characters were definitely nice to read about but when a graphic novel
Mar 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: queer
Work has been so chaotic because of everything going on that I haven't had a chance to read and I just wanted a little pick me up, something quick that would make me smile. This didn't disappoint!!

The story was interesting and I genuinely liked it but it was definitely too short for me, I could have read a whole novel about these two characters! I want to know if their dreams came true or if they changed to something different, did Flor get her goat farm? Does Grace visit? Do they just continue
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
A queer western graphic novel is something I never knew I needed.

What an adorable read.
In only one hundred pages, Gilman made me shed tears four times.

Stage Dreams follows the adventure pursued by trans southern belle captured by a heist pulling POC woman. Saying anymore than that would spoil this beautiful story- so go ahead and read it!

The illustration is visually stunning. There is no transphobia or homophobia present, and in all honesty reading this gave me hope for a future where we acce
Grace & Flor FTW.!

The history lesson at the end on transgender people who thankfully weren't completely erased from history like so many were, the inclusion of speaking about two-spirit people, speaking about how there were some southerners who were against the war but still pro-slavery, all the famous Civil War spies who were women and were successful in part thanks to so much rampant sexism, all helped push this to a 5 star review.!

I need a #2 so I can continue to follow their wonderful love s
Rod Brown
Pretty darn good LGBTQ+ western, but it seemed to introduce more concepts and potential storylines than this slight volume was able to pull off. Since it cannot be magically twice as long as it already is, I'd definitely like to see a sequel that could more fully address all the stuff Gillman brings up in their endnotes. ...more
Erin Cataldi
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Queer. Western. Graphic Novel.... Have I drawn you in yet? Relatively short for a graphic novel; Stage Dreams tells the story of a trans deserter who is kidnapped by an indigenous woman and her hawk. When Ghost Hawk realizes that Grace is trans, she isn't upset; in fact the two start to work together to steal maps and gold along their way to California. What neither of them expected was to start falling for each other. A super short, charming story that looks wonderful in colored pencil rather t ...more
I was sent an eARC of this graphic novel through Netgalley, in exchange for my honest opinion.

"To our queer and trans ancestors. Far too many of your stories were lost, but we remember you."

If that isn't a heartwarming dedication, I don't know what is.

First off, I absolutely loved the characters. I haven't read many books in a historical setting featuring queer characters, and I especially haven't seen a lot of transgender characters represented in a historical setting. The characters were both
I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley

actual rating 3.5

This was very cute although I really wish it had been a bit longer because everything seemed to move very fast and was a bit bare bones. Still, the art was the cute and the story was cute and it's nice to have a fun historical romance with lgbtq characters that just allows them to exist instead of focusing the entire story on how miserable they must be because ~historical accuracy~. I would definitely read a volume two if they ar
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

UGH, the artwork in colored pencil!

Rep: Sapphic romance with trans girl MC and exclusively sapphic Brown girl.

violence, kidnapping.

This was such a fun diverse story set in the American west! I liked the art and the characters were likable. The main character is trans girl who tries to run away from a war she doesn't want to participate in, and her meeting a flirty and badass female bandit. There's not much heaviness in the story even though it is set in the south during the civil war. This doesn't mean it dismisses the awf
Jul 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Oh oh oh my goodness this was so delightful! I only wish it was longer. I can’t lie.. I did completely tear up by the end. What a lovely way to spend 20 minutes^_−☆
Review also posted to my blog.

content warnings: racism, violence, implied transphobia
representation: trans sapphic main character, latinx sapphic main character, interracial f/f main relationship

“Besides—one lick of talons and these silk gloves would be torn to shreds! And I couldn’t bear damaging anything so fine.”

Hey, do you love westerns but wish they weren't so historically inaccurate with all those straight white dudes sauntering around?? Well then this might be the graphic novel for yo
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq
Stage Dreams is a fun graphic novel that is a Western adventure centering the lives of people who have traditionally been on the fringes of or excluded from this part of history. A Latinx outlaw kidnaps a woman who turns out to be a trans runaway and they team up in this fast-paced story. Stage Dreams is thoughtful and includes fascinating notes about real trans people in history who are often erased from our conception of what things were like. My main complaint with this is that it's too short ...more
This is a sweet, quick, queer historical graphic novel. I enjoy that the representation in here is wholly joyous without lingering on any past-traumas or ill-treatments due to who the characters are (a white trans woman on the run, and a brown (Native?) lady thief). That said, the illustration/color wasn't to my personal taste and I would've liked more substance to the actual story. ...more
Hannah Templer
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! A sweet story with positive LGBTQ+ representation, and super informative too. I really enjoyed the additional research notes at the end– I love the role this plays in piecing together and celebrating lost history.
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A queer western?!? Oh my!!! I absolutely loved every moment of this story. Also, I’m an admirer of Gillman’s art style. Would love to see a sequel!

I do want to mention that I also teared up after reading the author’s dedication 🌈
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was so great. I loved the historical details/explanation at the end, and it was fun to read a Western romp/romance in this format.
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