Lumberjanes #1

Lumberjanes #1 cover

Lumberjanes #1 cover by Noelle Stevenson

It’s always nice when something much-anticipated turns out to be better than you hoped. Lumberjanes is a strong start to a girls’ adventure series written by Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis and drawn by Brooke Allen.

There are evocations of all kinds of “girls in the woods” victim stories, starting with Little Red Riding Hood, but these scouts are no victims or shrinking violets. When they hear scary noises, they spring into action poses, ready to defend themselves and their friends. Mal, Molly, April, Ripley, and Jo are all campers, investigating weird goings-on and frustrating their counselor, Jen.

Lumberjanes art by Brooke Allen

The character designs look as though they all came in from different sources, down to different styles of inking, but they oddly work together. (A wonderful metaphor, actually, and an interesting choice in this age of the internet mash-up.) The monsters aren’t the usual woodland creatures; this is a heightened adventure, with three-eyed fanged foxes fought off in the opening sequence. Allen does movement well, with a sense that these characters are active between panels, always in motion.

There are a WHOLE lot of readers waiting for this kind of comic. Instead of a team with The Girl, this team is made up of different kinds of girls, so there’s more than one type of woman to read about or admire. They’re all friends, not rivals, so even when they disagree, we know they support each other. They do exciting things on their own, without waiting for anyone to give them a mission or a purpose. There’s a mystery to solve — just what is going on at the camp? — and further adventures to have.

It’s terrible that these basic statements count as praise, but only because there’s such a gap in the comic market when it comes to these kinds of stories. We don’t know much about the individual personalities here, yet, but that’s another reason to read future issues, to find out more specifics about how they’re different. This issue focuses on the teamwork.

About my only complaint with this comic is that it’s begging for people to wait for the collection. It’s $4 an issue for 22 pages of story, which is standard but still expensive, and since it’s from Boom!, there are multiple alternative covers, many of which are exclusive to a particular event or store, in an attempt to drain more money from customers for the same content. The eventual book will be a better deal and (I’m assuming) have all the images in one place. The only downside to that plan is that this comic is so much fun, I can’t imagine anyone wanting to wait for it.

6 Responses to “Lumberjanes #1”

  1. Links: Smile, Sisters! — Good Comics for Kids Says:

    […] Rob McMonigal on The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza (Panel Patter) Johanna Draper Carlson on Lumberjanes #1 (Comics Worth Reading) Jamie Greene on The Misadventures of Salem Hyde, Book Two (The Roarbots) […]

  2. Scouts Have Patches — Lumberjanes Announce Badges, Sales Growth » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] Lumberjanes is quite the success story, going from a limited-series run to an ongoing due to demand. Plus, issue #4, out July 9, has had orders greater than those for the first issue, demonstrating rare sales growth. Here’s the cover for that issue by Noelle Stevenson, emphasizing the scouting background of the story. The series is written by Grace Ellis and Stevenson and illustrated by Brooke Allen. […]

  3. Comic-Inspired Recipe Column » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] dedicated to recipes called “Cook Your Comics“? The latest, inspired by the scouts of Lumberjanes, is a classic campfire dinner wrapped in foil, but she’s also written about meatloaf for […]

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    […] out to subscribers. Anyway, I’m surprised I’m still having things to say about this fantasy girl camper series, but it’s because of the creativity that goes into every issue. And a new crazy imagination […]

  5. Happy Non-Existent National Comic Book Day! Have Some Free Comics » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] Lumberjanes #1 […]

  6. Lumberjanes #8 » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] The first storyline (the series will continue past this) concludes with the gal-pal campers saving the world from a remarkably authentic adolescent Artemis. She’s selfish and distractible and manipulated and focused only on getting the better of her brother. Unfortunately, her self-centeredness has resulted in grim consequences for one of the scouts, but the power of friendship will win through once again, as it has since issue #1. […]




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