Now that I’ve got that earworm from Meatballs implanted in the minds of everyone over the age of 30, down to serious business: summer camp. So you’ve been hearing about the Lumberjanes series for a while, but since they’re already twelve issues in, you despair of catching up and figuring out who’s who. But, spring is finally here in the northeast and you’re feeling a little nostalgic about what summer vacation meant when you’re a kid. Come on, I know I’m not the only one who was in this boat. (Please tell me I’m not the only one in this boat.) If you’re in it with me, lucky issue #13 is a good place to get on board, since it’s an “origins” tale of sorts and doesn’t have to be read in sequence with the preceding comics. Here’s your jumping on spot, campers, take it!
Many of the other What’cha Reading staff members have read (and loved) Lumberjanes. I’ve even actually bought a few issues for my god-daughter based on their recommendations, but I’d never actually read it myself (do you see how much I trust my colleagues’ judgement? do you see?) With so many people telling me Lumberjanes was great, I knew I had to check it out, and I’m glad I did because I was instantly enchanted. Each of the campers has a unique and distinctive personality, and it was fun getting to know each of them. I had instant sympathy for Ripley because I had gum cut out of my hair at her age, but I had too much adult supervision to go for a punk makeover. I loved that Molly ended up with a little raccoon friend as a result of the girls’ first foray into the woods. I liked how the girls all bonded quickly as a group as they tried to help Ripley. I dug the independence these girls give off without being bratty about it as they interacted with their counselor, Jen. I was also happy to see that all of these girls look like normal kids. Their skin tones, hair styles, and body shapes all vary, just like you would see in real life. Writers Noelle Stevenson and Shannon Watters have done an excellent job of making an ensemble of clearly defined individuals, and drawings and colors by Brooke Allen and Maarta Laiho really capture each personality.
I’m glad I took the plunge and finally read a Lumberjanes book. I would definitely buy more of these for the goddaughter without a second of hesitation, and read future issues myself. I’m giving it 4.5 out of 5 Lightning Bolts. It’s almost summer. Celebrate the end of a long, cold winter by going out and buy some Lumberjanes for the kids in your life, or for your own inner child.
Writers: Noelle Stevenson & Shannon Watters
Illustrator: Brooke Allen
Colors: Maarta Laiho
Letters: Aubrey Aiese
Covers: Brooke Allen, Remeina Yee, Liz Prince
Publisher: BOOM! Box
Release Date: April 15, 2015