When Charlie transfers to the Georgia O’Keeffe College of Arts and Subtle Dramatics, she struggles to find her feet, but winds up exactly where she belongs...in the school’s (terrible) basketball team.
As a transfer student to the Georgia O’Keeffe College for Arts and Subtle Dramatics, former sports star Charlie is struggling to find her classes, her dorm, and her place amongst a student body full of artists who seem to know exactly where they’re going. When the school’s barely-a-basketball-team unexpectedly attempts to recruit her, Charlie’s adamant that she’s left that life behind...until she’s won over by the charming team captain, Liv, and the ragtag crew she’s managed to assemble. And while Charlie may have left cut-throat competition in the dust, sinking these hoops may be exactly what she needs to see the person she truly wants to be.
From Carly Usdin (Heavy Vinyl) and artist Noah Hayes (Wet Hot American Summer, Goldie Vance) comes an ensemble comedy series that understands that it’s the person you are off the court that matters most.
|Product dimensions:||6.50(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.40(d)|
|Age Range:||14 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Carly Usdin is an award-winning filmmaker based in Los Angeles. Her first feature, Suicide Kale, won the Audience Award for Best First Feature at Outfest 2016. After playing over 30 festivals worldwide the film is now available on iTunes and Amazon Prime. In 2017 Carly served as showrunner and director for the scripted series Threads, produced by New Form for Verizon’s go90 platform. The 20-episode horror and comedy anthology series brought to life outrageous stories from internet forums like Reddit. Carly is also the creator and writer of two comic book series for BOOM! Studios: Heavy Vinyl (in stores now) and The Avant-Guards (out in January 2019). Heavy Vinyl was nominated for a 2018 Prism award, honoring the best in LGBTQAI+ comics.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I received an advanced/review copy of this book from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content and honesty of my review. I kept passing on this book because I wasn't sure I was going to like it, but finally, I decided to give it a chance. The storyline, albeit obviously geared toward younger readers, was enjoyable and there were some super cute and funny lines that had me chuckling. I absolutely love the illustrations and the inclusion of so many diverse characters. All the drawings and colors are beautiful, which was a huge draw to the book for me. I love the setting and the main storyline and the huge theme of camaraderie throughout the book. Each character is unique and they don't really fit in any one social group, which is part of why the Avant-Guards is such a special team. The romance seemed a bit rushed to me. It went from a budding friendship to one of the girls being sad about seeing her ex-girlfriend with someone else to boom, the other girl is making a move. Charlie even seemed kind of annoyed by Liv for the majority of the story, so to see them kind of go from "you annoy me" to "hey, I actually like you, maybe we should see if there's a relationship to develop here" seemed like a huge jump. I just felt like it was rushed and there wasn't a whole lot of build-up. But I'm a sucker for slow burn, so maybe it was just me. Also, I'm not a fan of the whole "I'm sad about my ex, so I'm going to take comfort in you" kind of arc. Again, could just be a preference thing for me. As this is volume one in a series of graphic novels, it went by quick and there wasn't a whole lot of resolution to any of the story. This is to be expected for the first book in a series, especially with it being a graphic novel, so don't expect a finished story here. In any event, I enjoyed this book. The illustration was definitely my favorite part and I would recommend it solely based on how stunning the images are. In the end, I'm happy I gave this book a shot and I think it's a great addition to the graphic novel world :) Happy reading!
Avants-Guards is, simply put, everything I look for in a graphic novel. It is funny, beautifully drawn, relatable and actually contained a good story. In this graphic novel, we follow Charlie, a new student that lost her scholarship in her previous school. She has anxiety and doesn't easily make friends. She is sarcastic, cool and broody. She also is a confirmed Scorpio sun Capricorn moon. The other main character is Olivia. She is the one setting up the girls basketball team. I loved Olivia because I felt connected with her. She is hard-working and knows what she wants and seems confident, but when you look into her head you see that she is totally panicking after that flirty line! The story is told from their perspectives and I actually felt it when the chapters shifted from one main character to the other. The change of mindset and perception of the world was visible and that can be tougher when you are drawing the environment and not describing it through words. I adore all of the characters in the team. They were are very distinct and I actually cared about them, which already is harder in a graphic novel. You have the coach Ashley, who sings like Beyonce, parties like Rihanna and balls like LeBron. Her own words. You also have Jay. They don't talk much but they have a deep love for puppies. They are also non-binary! I also adored Tiffany, the witch, who definitely does not have any candles in her room. Finally, we have Nicole, the bi cynic, who also happens to be Olivia's ex. The dialogue was realistic and so were the character dynamics. Nothing felt out of place. It was funny at times but serious when needed. Another thing that needs to be said: it was really diverse and I love it! We have lesbians, a bi character, a non-binary character... and it didn't feel forced at all. This didn't feel like one big introduction and I'm very grateful. So many first parts don't actually contain a story but feel like one big introduction showing you main characters, side characters, this is the world that we are in and ... if you actually want a story read the sequel! Here, stuff actually happens and we get to know these characters along the way. The art also stood out. It played a great part in the storytelling and the colours perfectly suited the mood. The characters are drawn in a beautiful style and I didn't confuse them with each other because everybody was so different! Definitely a must-read!
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher I was able to read this book in exchange for an honest review. *** The colors in this book! So beautiful, so gorgeous. Avant Guards starts with Charlie transferring to a new school and being drawn in by the charismatic Liv to play basketball on the newly almost ready basketball team. It’s just needing one more thing to be confirmed... another player and Charlie is the right gal for the job. The team is made up of extraordinary and diverse women and Charlie seems to be finding new friends, a new family in them. I loved this. I love Liv’s energy and commitment to everything she did and Charlie’s wary but hopeful approach to being on the team. I loved the adorable relationship building between the two of them. I can’t wait for the next book, just to see more of them together.
This was one of my most anticipated reads of this year. And friends, it did not disappoint me at all. I freaking loved it so much. Charlie was transferred to Georgia O’Keeffe College of Arts and Subtle Dramatics, and she’s not particularly excited about getting back on the court. But Liv, captain of the basketball team, won’t take no for an answer. She’s quite insistent, charming and cute… I mean, she has a good proposal and Charlie does miss the game and camaraderie. The story is so fun, friendship is so amazing, and the growing romance is adorable. I can’t wait to have more of this fantastic, diverse group. Go Avant-Guards!
I’ve been hovering between ‘will I or won’t I?’ since I first saw this graphic novel listed on NetGalley. I loved the blurb but sports and I don’t mix so well, unless movie marathons or TV series hurdles somehow became Olympic events while I was busy binge watching. I saw some early reviews of this Volume that told me I didn’t have to adore basketball to fall in love with this story so I finally decided to give it a go and, great news! Those reviewers were right! You don’t need to know anything about basketball to appreciate this graphic novel. Charlie has recently transferred to Georgia O’Keeffe College of Arts and Subtle Dramatics and is not interested in playing basketball, not even after meeting the rest of the potential team: Liv, Ashley, Tiffany, Nicole, and Jay. Liv is persistent though. She and the rest of the Avant-Guards wear Charlie down and she finally agrees to join the team, just in time for their first game. This story has great diversity, with POC, LGBTQIAP+ and mental health all represented, which I appreciated. Although basketball brings the characters together, the focus is on friendship and having fun. I loved Noah Hayes’ illustrations. They brought the personalities of each of the characters to life and drew me into the story. I don’t usually mention the colours used in graphic novels separately but I wanted to acknowledge Rebecca Nalty, who coloured this graphic novel, as it was the colours on this cover that initially caught my eye and made me want to read the blurb. I really like the entire team and want to get to know them all better. While it was Liv’s enthusiasm that hooked me initially, the positivity, diversity and snippets of banter between the friends were what made me want to join their team. I’ll definitely be continuing to read this series. I’m even looking forward to the potential romance, despite being a fairly staunch romantiphobe. Thank you so much to NetGalley and BOOM! Box, an imprint of BOOM! Studios, for the opportunity to read this graphic novel. I’m rounding up from 4.5 stars.