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STAGE DREAMS by Melanie Gillman


by Melanie Gillman ; illustrated by Melanie Gillman

Pub Date: Sept. 3rd, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-5124-4000-3
Publisher: Graphic Universe

A runaway and a bandit in search of new lives team up to steal war plans from the Confederacy.

When Grace, a white trans woman and aspiring actress, runs away from conscription into the Georgia Infantry, she finds herself caught in the talons of the Ghost Hawk, a half-woman, half-hawk demon bandit—or so the rumors say. Despite the wild stories, the mysterious Ghost Hawk turns out to be a “short brown lady” named Flor who dreams of living out the rest of her life on her own patch of land with some goats as soon as she gets the money from one last, big heist. With the help of Grace’s acting skills and understanding of upper-class, white Georgian culture, they plot to steal secrets from a backroom meeting at a cotillion and sell them to the Union. Gillman (Steven Universe: Punching Up, 2018, etc.) captures the Southwestern atmosphere with a soft, dusty color palette. Panels full of movement and vivid character expression create an immersive reading experience. The narrative unites two women with different backgrounds, depicting a relationship in which they support one another. Their romance develops naturally through moments of flirtation and fond glances. An open-ended but still satisfying resolution suggests a bright, hopeful future while leaving room to imagine more adventures for Grace and Flor.

An engrossing escapade with a heart-stealing queer romance.

(annotations) (Graphic historical fiction. 12-adult)