By Cat Wyatt
This special, ahem, intermission sorry, starts off on a pretty cute (or mushy, depending on how you look at it) note; there’s a whole page dedicated to pink and red roses and the adorable couple known as…wait, is there a ship name for Jory and Hunter? I don’t know this, but I feel like it’s something I should be aware of. If there isn’t one, I call dibs on naming it!
Unfortunately this scene occurred in Beckett’s ‘No Love Zone’ (aka anti-Valentine’s Day headquarters) so it obviously caused Beckett to have a complete conniption (I know, what’s new). I know he’s probably going a little bit overboard on the whole thing, but to me his whole reaction screams of insecurity and heartbreak (which considering we know who his crush is and how terrified he is to talk to her…it pretty much holds up).
Though apparently, the whole lacking-a-girlfriend bit is only part of Beckett’s problem with Valentine’s Day. The set! The set is his other major freakout point (one of many, I know). The fact that Beckett is freaking out is confusing at first…I mean, it appears to be two chairs and a table? And the actors will be wearing all black and be moving the set instead of the backstagers. Perhaps this has something to do with everything that goes on Backstage (of the mystical variety), but nope! Beckett is in charge of lights (because who else could be trusted with this job?) and a simple set requires precise lighting…and now I get why Beckett is so stressed. He’s pretty prone to freaking out anyway, so adding this sort of pressure isn’t exactly a healthy combination for the poor guy.
Of course, we all know that isn’t the whole story. The real reason Beckett wants everything to be perfect is because of his massive crush on Bailey Brentwood (aka the coolest girl in the world – hrm, I wonder who wrote that caption in the comic?), one of the actresses for the night. Poor Beckett – he’s gotten himself convinced that he’ll never stand a chance with her (and thus won’t make an attempt to ask her out), but he’s also convinced himself that everything must be perfect for her.
…That is until he finds out her partner for the night is Brock (aka the coolest boy in the world). I know that Beckett has a way of getting in his own way, but this is too much. It was likely the combination of everything he’s been feeling that more or less resulted in him temporarily shutting down for a bit. But hey, we’ve all been there – the high school freakouts are well known, and I’m not going to pretend I never had a meltdown like that (hint: I totally did).
Meanwhile, I’m pretty sure Sasha will be putting himself into a candy-induced coma, best case scenario (seriously – the child in me is absolutely envious of how much candy that boy has). Seriously though – I don’t know how much candy one would have to consume in order to see time…but it can’t be a healthy amount.
Little things like Beckett’s child lock on the lighting controls (put in place to prevent Sasha from wreaking havoc, but surprisingly good at stopping Aziz from accessing the panel as well…) help make this issue. The fact that it ends on a happy note really helps to keep the tone one would expect for a story about the Backstagers.
This was a charming little intermission, all things considered. Every main character more or less got a moment or two to shine. Granted, Beckett got the most attention, but considering he’s also the painfully single one of the group…well, it was kind of fitting (it would feel almost meant to shunt the single guy into the background – unless he was happily single like Sasha). I just love how sweet and accepting the Backstagers world is. Though I do sort of with the mystical backstage had done something to the Valentine’s Day festivities - that would have been fun to see.
The artwork for this issue was pretty great on the whole. I absolutely adore the cover – it’s just so cheerful and cute (yeah, I called it cute). The art for this series is always consistent, no major mistakes or oddities (other than the intentional ones, that is). I love the big eyes and faces the characters have; it furthers the impression that everyone is so open and caring (I mean, look at Sasha’s huge eyes and tell me he isn’t adorable).
Backstagers Valentine’s 2018 Intermission #1