Let’s Sit Around the Camp Fire and Talk About Lumberjanes
Lumberjanes is a series written by Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis with art by Brooke Allen that any scout, former or current, of any age will adore.
Lumberjanes is the perfect holiday gift for any reader on your list! But really, no occasion needed–it is just a great read.
Lumberjanes #1 (2nd Printing)
Lumberjanes #2 (2nd Printing)
Pre-order Lumberjanes #9
Pre-order Lumberjanes #10
When I was a little girl I was in the Girl Scouts. The first time I was away from my Mom and Dad for longer than a week was at a Girl Scout camp. This was on the East Coast, so on top of the massive amounts of humidity, I was eaten alive by bugs. However, I loved every second of it and wouldn’t trade that time for anything in the world. That is one of the reasons why I knew I was going to love Lumberjanes from the first issue. What I didn’t realize was that Lumberjanes is a comic I can recommend to anyone, including young girls, which is not exactly common these days. In fact, I can say with confidence that if I had found this comic while I was attending girl scout camp, I would have been beyond obsessed with it.
Lumberjanes is a comic written by Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis and drawn by Brooke Allen, and follows the antics of a group of a young woman at a camp. We have Jo, the leader and most leveled headed of the group, and April, who has a flair for the dramatic and takes notes on the various puzzles and crazy events that happen to the girls. Molly is a skilled archer with a raccoon hat that is actually a raccoon. Mal is the one that creates elaborate plans that often fall apart right away. Ripely is the youngest and is constantly throwing herself into danger by being too brash, but everyone still loves her for it. Jen is the camp leader of the girls’ cabin and wants to keep the girls safe while they are keen to run off and get into crazy adventures. There is something strange going on around the camp that Jen remains mostly oblivious to, but the Lumberjanes are determined to get to the bottom of the mystery.
Stevenson’s writing is lovely–she’s also done the covers for all eight of the issues thus far. The banter between the girls is fluid and perfect. It feels genuine; it feels like the way kids in a situation like this would talk. The humor is great and there are some absolutely lovely moments between the girls that bounce between heartbreaking and other moments that make me laugh out loud. This is an example of a piece of media that is just pure joy to watch unfold in front of your eyes. The art by Allen makes each of the girls distinctive in design, so its easy to tell them apart. They have extremely expressive faces and the back drop from colorist Maarta Laiho makes the pages pop.
Lumberjanes started out as a limited series, but was so popular that BOOM! Studios decided to picked it up for a full series. Unlike most comics the team behind Lumberjanes started out on the right foot. Some comics might take some time to find their footing, but Lumberjanes started out good and has only gotten better. Perhaps it was the spectre of being a limited series that might have helped. BOOM! Studios has also been doing a great job of marketing the series as well. At San Diego Comic Con 2014 there was a set of Lumberjanes merit badges that looked exactly like a badge I would have received when I was in the Girl Scouts. I could easily see the badges becoming collectors items where you need to obtain every single one. They are now available for pre-order here on the BOOM! Studios website. There is also a song mix at the end of each issue complete with track lists and a cover art that could be cut out.
Lumberjanes released its eighth issue on November 19th, and the ninth is due December 17th. If you have a scout, boy or girl, in your life that you want to introduce to comics, they will love Lumberjanes, but I believe that this is a series for everyone. As long as the team keeps the tone light and continues to have quality art and colors, I believe this is a series that could be around for awhile. If nothing else Lumberjanes is a strong entry onto the relatively short list of comics that girls can relate to, and that is worth several merit badges.