Released in April 2014 by BOOM! Studios, Lumberjanes arrived to the scene at a time when certain voices were unheard in the mainstream comics. Written by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis (contributing writer of the blog Autostraddle) and Noelle Stevenson (webcomic Nimona/writer of the Thor Annual 2015), the comic is a much needed series where fierce girl-power and fantastical adventures collide. Aided by the lively and engaging artwork from Brooke Allen (best known for her work with Adventure Time and the Regular Show), Lumberjanes becomes a comic series that I can best describe as addictive.
Or maybe exceptional.
Regardless - this series is SO GOOD.Spending their summer at the Lumberjane's scout camp (“for Hardcore Lady Types”), a group of 5 bunk-mates - April, Molly, Jo, Mal, and Ripley - navigate their way through mystical perils while also steering the wheel through adolescence, friendship, and self-identity. Appropriate for all ages, the story lines touch on topics that are relevant to readers in any stage of life - be it trouble between two best friends, understanding your feelings for a love interest, juggling the enormity of life itself, or how best to fight off a pack of yetis. While I consider the writing of Lumberjanes to be the highlight of the series - as it brings a voice to diverse identities - there’s no denying that the artwork is a feature of the series that deserves much praise. Being a huge fan of Adventure Time (comics and the television show) for it’s very graphic, colorful, sometimes even purposefully artistic illustrations, I view Lumberjanes as being drawn on that same vein. Some cells are so magical, colorful, and impressively structured that they are worthy of being framed (if you’re like me, and have an entire wall in your living room with nothing but framed comic/pop culture artwork). Despite the greatness of the artwork, and the intentional character development and plot points, Lumberjanes doesn’t step into a field of pretentiousness or loaded discourse that some might find as being too political or heavy. The entire series maintains a goofy and fun focus with moments of sincerity sprinkled in, giving the characters individual personalities & depth with their own off-shoots on the story lines. In a time when certain cultural demographics are struggling to break through into mainstream culture, Lumberjanes serves as a refreshing and necessary comic series for young girls, the LGBTQ community, and women who just really love reading comics with silly adventures. Paving a path for future “alternative” comics that give representation to those who otherwise may not see themselves relating to other characters or story lines - Watters, Ellis, and Stevenson write with intention on keeping the momentum going in creating female and queer characters in comics. The most recently released Issue #15, 7-issues beyond the original single 8-issue story arch, proves that Lumberjanes has a much needed and well deserved place in the comic world. So much so, that 20th Century Fox is in the works of turning the series into a live-action film! 'Friendship To The Max!'