Eisner-Nominated Cartoonist Melanie Gillman Presents Queer YA Graphic Novel ‘Stage Dreams’


Front and back covers of ‘Stage Dreams’ by Melanie Gillman.

Coming this fall from Graphic Universe and Lerner Publishing Group, Stage Dreams tells the story of young Grace, a trans runaway who is fleeing her Georgia home and conscription into the Confederate Army. So she heads west but makes an unplanned stop when notorious outlaw the Ghost Hawk swoops in, shaking down its passengers and stealing away with Grace. The Ghost Hawk — Flor, to her friends — means to hold Grace for ransom. But when the two get to talking about Flor’s plan to crash a Confederate gala, Grace convinces Flor to let her help.

Acclaimed cartoonist Melanie Gillman’s queer YA graphic novel provides a rare and page-turning depiction of LGBTQ characters in historical fiction, which offers a new perspective on the Old West.

Booklist has deemed Stage Dreams “an illuminating western with a refreshingly matter-of-fact queer romance.” And School Library Journal says “This charming and poignant queer romance set against a Civil War-era backdrop will resonate with readers.”

Stage Dreams will be available September 3.

Margaret has been a writer and editor for Nerds and Beyond since 2018. She loves Grogu, Doctor Who, and The OA. And she's still salty about #WaywardSisters. Find her on Twitter and TikTok at @MargNation.

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