Introduction:Being a drama geek through high school and college, the book Drama had me reminiscing of my times on the stage in front of my peers and elders. Drama is full of characters that take different paths from the mainstream and don’t necessarily follow the status quo. Does it capture the life of the middle school thespian well or is it just playing into the hype from the success of shows like Glee and the rise of Broadway? Read on to find out.
Creator: Raina Telgemeier
Writer: Raina Telgemeier
Artist: Raina Telgemeier
Content: Drama is listed for ages 10+ and contains romance, kissing, dating, and reference to LGBT characters and lifestyle.
Story:At the core of Drama is Callie, a girl who is in love with the world of theater and while she would certainly enjoy the limelight of the actors and actresses, her singing skills are quite lacking. Upon this realization that she won’t be the next Broadway star, Callie takes another path and focuses her energy and passion behind the curtains as a part of the stage crew. More specifically she throws her hat into being a set designer and has big plans for their latest endeavor, Moon Over Mississippi.
During the production, another story starts to unfold and that is the drama between the cast mates in the musical and in the stage crew. Callie finds herself with mixed feelings for boys in and around the musical production as well as relationship issues with some of her longest friends. The story weaves all of these characters together and takes us through the drama of life as a middle school kid on and off the stage.
Drama is a story that gives insight into the life of a school play and into kids who are just starting to discover more mature ideas and experiences in their life. There is confusion, passion, rejection, sadness, and joy as this cast of characters have to deal with each others quirks, crushes, and decisions that they will remember for the rest of their lives and surely influence them for as long.
Review:As someone who was in the world of theater during my formative years, I really identified with the cast of Drama and shared their passion to have fun on and off the stage with new friends. For me, the theater became my identity in high school and it was there that I made most of my friends. I also identified with the drama that went on with the cast as there were many crushes and romances. That sort of thing was always going on and I remember a girl or two I had my eye on, trying to drum up the courage to engage in conversation or to ask one of them out. It was a trying experience and Drama really captures this aspect of theater life, especially with hormone imbalanced kids.
Since the book showcases the life and times of an entire school production. There is a lot of time and ground to cover. My biggest complaint was that the pace of the book was quite quick and jumped around a lot. At times it felt a bit scattered jumping from one of Callie’s crush to the next.
The art and coloring was very fitting for the book and I liked that it every character was easily identifiable. Telgemeir does a great job with the expressions of the characters, even though she uses basic dots and lines for the major facial features. The cartoony style of the characters and the more complex backgrounds worked well to give it its own feel as a whole. The coloring by Gurihiru was also pleasant and I really liked how he used shadows to help create depth to the overall coloring process.
Conclusion:I realize I am not the demographic for this book, but I was glad I read it. As a fellow drama geek, I identified with the trials and tribulations that the characters faced in the production process of putting on a school play and in the crushes and romances that inevitably go along with the whole process. Kids with a touch of drama, interested in the theater, or just romantic at heart will surely get into this OGN.
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher.