Author: Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis
Artists: Brooke Allen and Maarta Laiho
Release Date: April 10, 2014
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Source: Bought and Owned
Genre(s): Supernatural, Comedy, Graphic Novel
Review Spoilers: Low
I’ve been pretty psyched about Lumberjanes from the minute it was announced. Even though the only name I was really familiar with was Noelle Stevenson’s, the comic had me at a diverse cast of young women and a summer camp that was “Gravity Falls meets Buffy The Vampire Slayer.”
It’s like they know me.
Thankfully, the first issue delivered on that promise and then some.
From the credits page, this comic had me smiling because every name on that page was a woman. Every. One. Even down to how the Lumberjanes got their name. It also makes me happy that Kate Leth has found the incredibly niche market of supernatural scout badges.
The first page jumps right into the story. April, Mal, Molly, Jo, and Ripley are out in the woods past lights out, looking for a mysterious bear woman they saw outside their cabin and went to investigate. There’s no time wasted on slow building character introductions or making these girls friends. They’re friends already and through their first story, you learn what kind of girls they are. It’s actually kind of a relief since it makes me want to read future issues to know more about the girls and their adventures.Something else I love about this comic is the character designs and the art. Stevenson and artist Brooke Allen worked together to design the characters and it makes me want to clap my hands and squeal with delight. They all look so different from each other in all senses. Body types, fashion sense, ethnicities and even their posture! Which, again, is great! It tells a lot about who they are even before you start reading. Even the two adult figures of Jen and Rosie look completely different from each other, and it makes my heart happy. Especially the tough outdoorsy Rosie with an anchor tattooed on her neck.
Allen is the main artist for the comic and her art is gorgeous. Between her and Maarta Laiho on colors, the world of Lumberjanes is a visual treat with expressive characters and smooth action from panel to panel. It also makes reading the comic over and over again worth it because there are lots of little things you might miss the first time, like Molly giving one of the weird three eyed foxes a belly rub, Ripley desperately trying to hold her bladder in while walking to Rosie’s office, or the fact they’re all wearing different shorts and skirts when Jo recites the Lumberjanes pledge. It’s kind of amazing and shows an attention to character detail that goes missing from a lot of mainstream comics. If Lumberjanes is ever made into an animated series, I’ll be the first to back it.Not to mention that on my third re-read, I finally saw what Ellis meant about Mal and Molly being “a thing.” BE STILL, MY HEART. THERE ARE BABY QUEER LADIES TOO. It doesn’t help that April’s mix at the end of the comic is full of queer rock stars, android extraordinaire Janelle Monae, and a song from Josie and the Pussycats, the movie I constantly joke made me bisexual.
Fresh, funny, and full of ladies, Lumberjanes is already up there with Ms. Marvel for my new favorite comic of 2014. Stevenson, Ellis, Allen and Shannon Watters have created a fantastic new story about friendship, summer camp and supernatural forces. If you’re not reading this comic yet, I suggest you jump on it before issue #2 comes out next month.