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Skeletons From My Stack: Lumberjanes Volume 1: Beware the Kitten Holy

Lumberjanes Volume 1

Like most bibliophiles, I keep a stack of books by my bed that I one day plan to read. Unfortunately, between reading review materials, participating in reading challenges, books I’ve had on hold at the library for ages becoming available, and the lure of new books, that stack never seems to get any smaller. So I’ve decided to make an effort to finally tackle some of the books from my bedside “to-be-read” stack. So sit back and enjoy reading my thoughts on some of the skeletons from my book stack.

Lumberjanes is a series that has intrigued me for a long time. Brandy, the lady who owns my local comic book store, loves the Lumberjanes. It’s her favorite series. She’s got a discerning palate when it comes to comics, so a recommendation from her carries a lot of weight. Over a year ago, someone gave me a box of books. In that box was Lumberjanes Volume 1. I donated most of the rest of the books to charity, but I kept the Lumberjanes trade paperback. It has sat waiting on my stack until the day I got around to finally reading it. That day is today!

Five female best friends at a summer camp in the woods. Sounds like the plot of a slasher movie (or a porno). Sorry to disappoint fans of horror films (or porn enthusiasts) but Lumberjanes is a girl-powered fantasy adventure series. Best friends Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are spending the summer at Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady-Types. This is no ordinary summer camp. Mysteries lay nearby, waiting to be uncovered and the surrounding woods are full of fantastic and mythical creatures.

From the dialogue to the sight gags, this is a really funny comic book. The girls’ friendship really shines through. Their relationships are very endearing and stand out from the purposely ridiculous nature of the story. Each chapter is preceded by a section out of the Lumberjanes field manual. These excerpts tie into the events of each chapter and provide cute background info to the story. I really liked all the pop culture references contained within the dialogue. I also enjoyed all the references to famous women from history. Admittedly, I had to Google a few to realize who was being referenced, but that isn’t a bad thing. Any comic that inspires people to learn on their own is doing something right.

Artist Brooke Allen’s style reminded me a little of Captain Underpants. Except, she used darker inks and much fuller levels of detail. The colors are so vivid and bright that there were times where I considered wearing sunglasses to read this book. Even the scenes set at nighttime are given a rich vibrancy by Maarta Laiho’s color choices. I really liked how Allen draws faces. They convey emotion while retaining the elasticity and wackiness of a cartoon character.

Lumberjanes Volume 1 was well worth the wait. I’m glad I chose it as the first book to remove from my stack. This comic is geared toward young people, and the story is very silly. So although it’s suitable for all readers, it may not appeal to those used to more mature titles. The first volume contains a joyful adventure story full of heart and humor. I’m not sure if I’ll read any further into the series, but I do regret waiting so long to check it out. Lumberjanes made for a fun afternoon of reading. Now onto the next title in my stack…

Story: Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis Art: Brooke Allen
Color: Maarta Laiho Letterer: Aubrey Aiese
Story: 3.0/5.0 Art: 4.0/5.0 Overall: 3.5/5.0


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