Lumberjanes is a new comic from independent comic BOOM! Box that is sweeping the country. It one of the first female driven comics, which is awesome in and of itself. Ir was originally planned as an eight part series, but due to it’s popularity, was turned into an on going series. This is the first collected edition that binds the first four issues together.
Lumberjanes centers on five friends at Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. I know, it’s a mouthful. The camp is home to a group of Lumberjane scouts, including our five main characters. Our group are already great friends, and are set earning their badges starting with the Up All Night badge, when the stumble upon some three eyed foxes. The girls keep finding three eyed animals and mysterious things start to happen, including a River Monster attack and finding a hidden temple, and they become determined to find out just what exactly is going on.
This was clearly full of all kinds of fantasy references with the different monsters running around, and the booby trapped temple was like something out of Indiana Jones. I wasn’t sure if it was meant as a parody, or a homage to such things, but either way it was pretty funny. Although, so much of it thrown in, does seem a bit much. But I think that’s the point, and part of the appeal. It was clearly a homage to scouting though as a lot of their badges were similar to badges you might find in Scouts.
There were also a lot of references to famous female pioneers. Like Bessie Coleman (the first black female pilot) who I had to look up, to Joan Jett, Phyllis Weatley (first female black poet, who I wrote a paper on in college), and Juliet Gordon Lowe (the founder of Girl Scouts for those who have never been Scouts), that I did know. I think this is a cool idea, as it makes readers aware of these awesome women in history and gives the characters and readers role models. And to a librarian, references like this are just awesome, especially the literature one.
Each of the characters had a unique look, personality, and strengths that shine through. Molly is good at archery, Jo math and analyzing things, April puns and words, Mal is more cautious and sensitive but is good at planning, and Ripley is the fearless animal lover. Together, they face the mystery of what’s going on and combine their skills to make through whatever this mystery throws at them. This is great because it gives a lot of different types of girls a character they can relate to.
I love that this series is written and drawn by women, for girls and women. We really need that in comics and Geekery right now.
I think this is a great start to the series, and I think it has lots of potential. However, for all the hype, I was expecting a bit more out of it I think. It was good, but my reaction wasn’t a “Oh my, that was a good one, I see why everyone likes it. I really liked it too. I’ll have to read the next one because I want to know what happens next.” or “Oh. My. God. That was awesome! I have to read the next one now! Now I see why everyone loves it!”
So I think I’d have to give it Three and a Half Lightsabers since it was missing something to make it a four for me. I will still read the next one though since I am thoroughly intrigued by the premise.