cover image Boys Weekend

Boys Weekend

Mattie Lubchansky. Pantheon, $28 (232p) ISBN 978-0-593-31671-9

Trans femme Sammie begrudgingly joins a debauched and treacherous bachelor party in this ingenious horror-satire from Ignatz Award winner Lubchansky (The Antifa Super-Soldier Cookbook). In college, Sammie had a tight-knit group of guy friends—including Adam, with whom they were closest—but post-transition, the bond has faded. Now, Adam is getting married, and wants Sammie to be his “best man,” despite Sammie no longer identifying as a man (“Maybe I should draw a diagram for my cis friends,” they joke). Sammie accepts, however, along with an invitation to a bachelor weekend on an isolated landmass in the middle of the Atlantic, a floating city whose location in international waters makes it a deregulated, hedonistic utopia. Sammie’s hetero dude friends—most of whom have become crypto bros since college—treat their transition acrimoniously. In addition to the micro- and macro-aggressions Sammie must withstand, they seem to stumble on a nefarious, island-wide conspiracy surrounding a Davos-esque tech gathering, as more and more arrivals to the islands don the conference’s blue fleece vests. Lubchansky’s script and art both achieve a deadpan style reminiscent of Daria and 1990s Nickelodeon, which amplifies the surreal delirium. Every dead-eyed stare and utterance of the word sir becomes skin-crawling. This is both a hilarious and terrifying send-up of capitalist-driven masculinity and a poignant story about the perception-altering blessings (and burdens) of queerness. Agent: Kate McKean, Morhaim Literary. (June)