Photo: Steven Younkins, Q2Q

I don’t think that every strip I’ve written is so backstage elitist that it’s inaccessible for everyone. You don’t have to be an expert in any field to get it. I’m hardly a sound design expert, I’ve stage managed once, and I’ve hardly even touched a light board. But I’ve been around it and I’ve got a sense of the culture that I’m trying to reflect. So much of what I’m poking fun at is situational. I’ve got friends that are not theatre people who have read my strips and tell me that it reads like a bunch of jokes you had to have been there for, which I suppose is why it works for my readers because most of them have been there. Sometimes the situations are funny on their own, and the barrier is very low, and other times the situation is exceedingly specific, so specific that Google isn’t going to help you.

One of my favourite parts of making this comic happens right after I update and the comments roll in with people saying they’ve been in those situations before or they’ve always wanted to say or do whatever I’ve written. It keeps the tech experience from being isolating. There’s only one stage manager in a show and it is sometimes difficult to find and develop a sense of community among others who have shared similar experiences. That Q2Q provides that for some people makes me supremely happy…

There’s not a lot of recognition out there for the people that work backstage, and I like that my comics help to let those people know that what they do is appreciated, and they are not alone.

– In theatre, a “cue to cue” is a long, technical rehearsal. The lighting and sound designers practice and polish effects and transitions. Q2Q is a webcomic created by Steven Younkins that illustrates the unexpected humor and unforeseen obstacles behind the scenes. Instead of actors, Q2Q focuses on the techies responsible for light, sound, stage management, set design and more. Exeunt Magazine interviewed Younkins about his niche audience, his love of comics and his artistic philosophy.

(Disclaimer: I know Younkins personally; we work at the same theater. I am not a character in his webcomic.)

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