Story: Grace Ellis & Noelle Stevenson
Art: Brook A. Allen
What They Say:
Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley are five best pals determined to have an awesome summer together…and they’re not gonna let any insane quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! Not only is it the second title launching in our new BOOM! Box imprint but LUMBERJANES is one of those punk rock, love-everything-about-it stories that appeals to fans of basically all excellent things.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Originally released earlier in the year as part of a free event, I had picked up Lumberjanes back then but never got around to reading it. With it being part of the Twelve Days of Christmas promotion from ComiXology, it certainly worked as a good opportunity to revisit it and clear out the pile a little bit. While I had picked it up before, I also have to admit that I have a print copy that my teenage daughter bought because she was intrigued by it during a comic book store visit as well. Suffice to say, this title has been in front of me a few times in the last few months.
The opening issue of Lumberjanes is all about setting up the basics of the location, an all girls camp for scouts called Lumberjanes, and the weirdness that they end up coming into contact with there. We actually get to start mid-mission as the plucky team of five girls, Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley, are out in the woods as they were chasing a bearwoman of some sort that had been around the cabin late that night. While out there, they end up getting accosted by a group of larger than usual foxes as well – foxes with a third eye at that. It’s fun to see the girls defend themselves and turn it around on the foxes, but it just adds to the weirdness of the night in general. Not surprisingly, when they do return to the camp with a few more clues in hand, things don’t go over well for their counselor that has discovered that they’ve been missing and out in the woods late at night.
While the first half of the book is a touch muddled as we’re basically just thrown into things, the second half gets a bit more interesting as they all end up in front of Rosie, who runs the camp, and she’s pretty relaxed about things in general. At least until she hears about the bearwoman and sends the counselor off so she can talk to the kids privately. That unearths a few more clues, but I like that Rosie, as interested as she is, plays it cool and largely just gets all grandmotherly and sends them on their way for the day – and rewards them for it with an up all night badge at that. There’s a bigger mystery that’s here around the edges and the first issue serves up the clues nicely.
The opening issue does a lot right here, awkward as it may be at first, and I can easily see why my daughters enjoyed the book a lot. The cast are all naturally archetypes yet and you’ll be hard pressed to remember who is who just yet – if you remember the names at all. But it does set things up well and presents a fun all ages scary twist on scout camps, the scouts themselves and what lurks in the woods, things that are told at almost all overnight camps. I really liked Allen’s artwork here as she brings us something that has a good sense of character about it while being able to be both fun and scary at the same time. I was less enamored with the scripting because there’s just too many goofy one-liners that feels like it’s trying to hard, especially with some of the references. But it really is the same as what boys do in similar situations, so it’s easy enough to give it a pass. It’s a fun little book but it isn’t something that demands me to come back for more. I’ll definitely recommend it to people to check out though because it is a good mixture of a light kind of fun in the Bone vein where it can go much darker before you know it. And with eight issues out there in total so far, there’s definitely plenty of story to sink your teeth into.
Age Rating: All Ages
Released By: Boom Studios
Release Date: April 9th, 2014