The Avant-Guards, Vol. 1 by Carly Usdin (Author), Noah Hayes (Illustrator)

A graphic novel about a basketball team that will endear even those who yell “yay sports”, The Avant-Guards is a charming, fun, beautifully illustrated story that will leave you wanting the next volume as soon as you close the back cover!



Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Goodreads | Indiebound

Published: 3 September 2019

Publisher: BOOM! Box

Genre(s): Graphic Novel | LGBT+ | Sports

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 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.




Representation: sapphic relationships (past/present); non-binary character (Jay); transgender character (Nicole); casual racial diversity



content warnings - Copy


Panic attacks


what i enjoyed


The dual point of view, from Charlie the new transfer to Olivia the leader of the Avant-guards, played out well. As the strongest personalities in this volume, their points of view set up the framework the brought the reader to the others, who brought a lot of joy and variety to the group.

I thought there was so much energy that played off one another. Tiffany, Ashley, Nicole, and Jay were separate entities that were still something of a family in this story. There were some “rough” edges, such as the romantic history between Olivia and Nicole, but these edges were still good in a way because it made for interesting interactions.

The basketball aspect is easy enough to follow for someone who isn’t a huge sports fan (i.e. me lol) and whatsmore it’s still enjoyable. The first game between the Avant-guards and their league opponent was fun and sportsmanlike. I actually look forward to seeing more action when generally I’m a “go sports” type person.

The cliffhanger is tricky because I thought it was good in terms of being what it was, but also I didn’t enjoy it because now I have to wait until next February for the answer to that email? How am I supposed to do that? *weep for me*


what i didn't enjoy - Copy


There’s not a lot to not enjoy about this! I suppose it was rather short, so there’s that? 😦 I can’t wait for the next volume, especially with that ending.




I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Quotes included are from an advanced reader copy and may not reflect the finalized copy.

All media belongs to the respective owners and is used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.


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