Boom! Box 2016
Created & Written by James Tynion IV
Created & Illustrated by Rian Sygh
Coloured by Walter Baiamonte
Lettered by Jim Campbell
An incredible yet earnest story about finding a place to fit in when you’re kinda an outcast. When Jory transfers to the private, all-boys school St. Genesius, he figures joining the stage crew would involve a lot of just fetching props and getting splinters. To his pleasant surprise, he discovers there’s a door backstage that leads to different worlds, and all of the stagehands know about it! All the world’s a stage...but what happens behind the curtain is pure magic!
Seriously Drama Club in an all-boys school, let’s extend that to the stage crew or the Backstagers, and could you find a bigger gaggle of gays anywhere? Wow I really wasn’t expecting this but i’m all aboard for it. Thankfully James isn’t holding back when it comes to showing them Queen-out and flirt with each other so it’s a nice way to show hey this is normal behavior.
I like the opening here where Jory’s mother tells him to find a group to belong to. She’s going to be working a lot of hours and she wants him to be productive and safe. Any parents wish really. The characterization is good, strong off the bat and when Jory hits the auditorium and the actors hit the stage you really can’t help but to start have a big giggle. Camp doesn’t even do what we see justice!
Jory is sent off to fetch a prop for the two brothers who hog the spotlight here at St. Genesius. This is when the story really starts and Jory finds those who will become his friends and peers. It’s a whirlwind introduction for him as he’s basically thrown into the deep end of the pool without a floatation device. Slowly but surely the members of the Backstagers are introduced and the ensemble completed. Each has their own speciality and it’s clear they’ve formed a nice unit.
The interiors are a wonderful all-ages depiction of these kids and the magical world they’ve discovered. With great use of emotion and expression and imagination Rian finds a way to get you to fall in love with this place as much as does in creating it. The use of the pages and panels showcase his creativity and imagination beautifully through the use of angles and perspective and backgrounds. There’s a great flow to the story visually here and a very nice cute almost wholesome look to the kids that you see burgeoning into those teenagers and young adults.
Finding a place where you can belong is never easy and for Jory being the new kid in school well that can seem overwhelming. So welcome to his journey of discovery not only about himself but the strange new world he encounters here and the friends he meets along the way.