Q2Q Comics, Volume 1 by Steven Younkins (2016)
Comics | Theatre: Comedy
An amusing collection of comics that portray the lives of theatre crew members including: Stage Manager, Lighting Designer, Sound Designer, Costumer, Director, Props Master, Scenic Director, Technical Director, Prop Cat, and La Ropasucia the Theatre Gremlin.
Volume One: “A collection of the first 220 Q2Q Comics all hardbound together in a book! Includes commentary by the author for most of the comics, a collage of the original sketches, a “How to Draw Morty” tutorial, and other assorted goodies.” –Goodreads
pooled ink Review:
This comic series is maybe my favorite ever. As a kid growing up I read loads of the classics such as Garfield, Peanuts, Family Circus, Dilbert, and the like. I’d always lunge for the morning newspaper and steal the Comics section to read while I ate my cereal before school. I’m not sure why but I eventually grew out of this daily routine and haven’t read comics of any sort for a good few years besides the occasional one that popped up on my Facebook feed. And that’s exactly how I discovered Q2Q.
I graduated from college with a Theatre degree with a double concentration in performance and technical production (mostly lighting and makeup). So, as you can imagine, many of my Facebook friends are also actors or technicians in the world of theatre and as such it’s no surprise that Younkins’ comic series shuffled its way down into my personal realm of awareness. I read one that a friend had shared and laughed. Then I saw another, and another, and I liked the Q2Q Facebook page so I could see them for myself, then I took it upon myself to Google this craftsman and his humorous creations and discovered that he had a Kickstarter to publish his comics and I swooped in just in time to receive my very own copy.
True I often wonder if I’d enjoy this series half so much if I wasn’t a theatre nerd and I believe that the answer to that question would be potentially complicated but mostly a basic “Probs not.” From a non-theatre perspective there are some jokes that one may not understand but for the most part they’re still funny. People understand funny. But when one does have a theatre education (particularly one in the technical area) then this series takes on a whole new level of depth, relatability, and hilarity.
So many times I find myself laughing out loud at what I’ve read not only because it’s simply funny but also because it tugs on memories of my own where a similar situation has occurred. It’s that relatability that really makes this comic series a delightful success in my eyes. We love the theatre but sometimes it’s Hell on Earth…particularly during Tech Week (hence the nickname “Hell Week”).
Honestly as I was a student and not a master of the craft, living through my Theatre degree and all the productions that I assisted on as a part of that was an experience quite similar to how I feel reading through the Q2Q comics. I was an Assistant Lighting Designer for two Spring productions at my school and the L.D./my professor definitely had the eyes that can tell the difference between 35 and 36 or is the only one who notices (and therefore the only one who appreciates) a particularly long light cue that is both subtle and artistic. He’d often include me in the creating process and ask me my opinions and I often had to resort to summoning my actor skills to nod and murmur feedback that feigned comprehension (I was slowly getting there but honestly it would take years to actually see the difference between 35 and 36 or to know exactly which fixture needed to be jiggled slightly to close a microscopic gap of light on the stage). The character Wuggles is truly a combination of my Lighting Prof. and our Master Elec. And I find this hilariously awesome.
Not really sure how many people will understand or read this particular review but I wanted to go ahead and write one anyway. Look, the characters are on point, the jokes are hilarious on both a general level of funny and a specific inside-joke level of funny, the drawings are fabulous, aaaaaaand yeah. Go read them.
HUGE fan of the Q2Q comic series and I wait for more (just poke me if I’ve become enraptured by the show of life and need you to remind me that a Vol. 2 is coming out. You understand how the mind wanders when there’s so much time between cues, right?)
Infinitely amusing, profoundly relatable, and diabolically true, Steven Younkins’ Q2Q, Vol. 1 is a splendid journey through the hell that can be theatre and shining a comical light upon the crew that, when doing a job well done, get no appreciation or understanding whatsoever.
“Theatre is life”…and life is never easy.
“Theatre is magical”…and that “magic” is called “tech crew” soooo you’re welcome.
Purchase here: Q2Q, Vol. 1
Meet Steven Younkins!
“Q2Q Comics is written and drawn by Steve Younkins. He started drawing comics in 2004 and has drawn webcomics since 2007. He has worked in the theatre industry since 2008. In the sixth grade, he was chastised for doodling in the margins of a math test.
He lives in Frederick, MD. He is a company member at the Maryland Ensemble Theatre where he works primarily as a sound designer.”
–Q2Q Official Site