Broadway's Andy Mientus Pens New Book Series THE BACKSTAGERS
Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS, announced today that actor, singer, and songwriter Andy Mientus has written a middle-grade fiction series called The Backstagers. The first installment, The Backstagers and the Ghost Light, will publish on September 25, 2018. The series will follow the paranormal adventures of a high school stage crew and is based on the award-winning BOOM! Studios graphic novels created by James Tynion IV and Rian Sygh. Sygh will illustrate the new novels. The acquisition for world rights was negotiated by Andrew Smith, Senior Vice President and Publisher of ABRAMS Children's Books, and Maggie Lehrman, Executive Editor at Amulet, with Filip Sablik, President of Publishing and Marketing of BOOM! Studios. Lehrman will also edit the books.
Heartfelt and featuring an inclusive cast of characters, the Backstagers series follows a band of theater misfits as they go on paranormal, action-packed adventures. In the series' first installment, protagonist Jory doesn't know what to expect when he transfers to St. Genesius Prep, an all-boys school known for its incredible theater department. He ends up on the stage crew, or "backstagers" as they like to call themselves. When some of the cast members decide to play with a spirit board, the ghost light goes out. Ghost lights are supposed to protect the theater from ghosts sneaking in the shadows. The kids don't think too much of it. However, when they decide to put on the musical Phantasm, strange things start happening: a fallen light, a missing prop, a star with something to hide. Could there be evil spirits in the theater?
"We're thrilled to have Andy writing these original adventures and expanding upon the magical world of the Backstagers in exciting new ways," says Andrew Smith. "His experience as a multitalented performer makes him the perfect storyteller for the Backstagers. We're excited to partner with BOOM! Studios once again on a fiction series that celebrates inclusivity, fitting in, and friendship-and one that will have wide appeal among fans and new readers alike."
Andy Mientus says, "From my first journey through the original run of comics by James Tynion IV and Rian Sygh, I was completely taken with the mysterious world of the Backstagers and the endearing cast of characters exploring it-a cast I believe any kid could see themself in. It has been such an honor to expand that world and cast in this new series of books. I have always been fascinated by the rituals and legends surrounding theater and I have loved exploring the ways in which real-life theater lore plays with the lore James and Rian created."
The Backstagers is an incredibly personal and important project for both Rian and myself," added James Tynion, one of the original graphic novel cocreators. "When we created these characters and the magical backstage world around them, we were trying to create the kind of story our younger selves needed to see in the world, but didn't exist. Now, seeing these characters brought to life in a New Medium by an incredible talent like Andy Mientus, we hope to see them reach the young readers who need them the most. I couldn't be more excited or proud."
Andy Mientus is an actor, musician, and writer best known for starring in the Broadway musicals Spring Awakening, Les Miserables, and Wicked, and on television in the NBC musical drama Smash and as Hartley Rathaway, aka the Pied Piper, in the hit CW series The Flash. Andy cowrote the new musical Burn All Night, which had its world premiere at Oberon/American Repertory Theater at Harvard University.
Rian Sygh is a comic artist and cocreator of the award-winning The Backstagers comics. He lives in Glendale, California.
Founded in 1949, ABRAMS was the first company in the United States to specialize in publishing art and illustrated books. Now a subsidiary of La Martinie?re Groupe, the company continues to publish critically acclaimed and bestselling works in the areas of art, photography, cooking, craft, comics, interior and garden design, entertainment, fashion, and popular culture; children's books ranging from young adult fiction to picture books to board books. ABRAMS creates and distributes brilliantly designed visual books with the highest production values under the following imprints: Abrams; Abrams ComicArts; Abrams Image; Abrams Press; Abrams Books for Young Readers; Amulet Books; Abrams Appleseed; and a gift and stationery line, Abrams Noterie. ABRAMS also distributes books published by The Vendome Press, V&A Publishing, Tate Publishing, Booth-Clibborn Editions, 5 Continents Editions, SelfMadeHero, The Museum of Modern Art, Cameron + Company, Getty Publications, and others.
BOOM! Studios was founded by Ross Richie in 2005 with the singular focus of creating world-class comic book and graphic novel storytelling for all audiences. Through the development of four distinct imprints-BOOM! Studios, BOOM! Box, KaBOOM!, and Archaia-BOOM! has produced award-winning original work, including Lumberjanes, The Woods, Giant Days, Klaus, and Mouse Guard, while also breaking new ground with established licenses such as WWE, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Cartoon Network, and Jim Henson Company properties. BOOM! will also bring their original series to life through unique first-look relationships with 20th Century Fox for film and with Fox Television for the small screen. Please visit www.boom-studios.com for more information.
Photo of Andy Mientus by Luke Fontana