TITLE: Lumberjanes Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy
AUTHOR: Stevenson, Ellis, Watters & Allen
RELEASED: April 2015; BOOM Box!
GENRE: Graphic Novels
FORMAT: Library Paperback
KEY INFO: cute and diverse graphic novel, friendship, relationships, camp
REPRESENTATION: all female MC’s, women of colour, f/f romance, possible trans feminine character
CONTENT NOTICES: n/a
Lumberjanes, Vol. 1: Beware the Holy Kitten. So Wholesome. Such Diverse. Much Millenial. I love.
No, but really. What else can I say about Lumberjanes Vol. 1 other than gush about how much I loved it. As someone who is a huge fan of Noelle Stevenson and heartily enjoyed Nimona, there was a strong likelihood that I was going to fall in love with Lumberjanes, and I did. My only regret is I waited a YEAR after reading Nimona to finally make time for Lumberjanes.
Let’s start with the layout because I thought it was cute as hell because it’s laid out as the ‘Lumberjane’s Field Manual’. We arrive at Miss Quinzella Thiskurin Penniguigal Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types (Friendship to the Max) through a message from the Lumberjanes High Council and the Lumberjane’s Pledge. Then each issue is introduced by a field manual chapter page including the theme for the issue, it’s corresponding Lumberjane badge, and an informational excerpt on how to achieve the badge before throwing us head-first into the story. Each chapter is also rounded off with some choice photographic snap-shots from their adventure.
Although Lumberjane’s is a collaboration between its writers Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis, illustrator Brooke Allen, colorist Maarta Laiho, and lettering by Aubrey Aiese, the story and the characters have Noelle written all over them. Everything is millennial to the max, kooky, cute, wholesome and diverse. With different body types, skin colors, personalities, strengths, and weaknesses, our five young female MC’s are a wild bunch who each offer something unique in the way of ‘hardcore lady-types’. PLUS two of the characters begin a very cute possible romance with each other and I am 99% certain one the characters is a trans girl (plzplzplz let her be trans). I love all of them to pieces but I especially love the small, chaotic energy ball that is Ripley (usually seen diving into holes and chasing Eagles up trees), and raccoon-hat-wearing, definitely super gay, Molly.
The story itself was super enjoyable. This is not just an average camp story, oh no. It is a camp story full of WTF, weird fantasy alien creatures, a Mystery To Be Solved, and Friendship to the Max all the way through. It’s exactly the type of friendship group (and representation) I wish I had been exposed to as a child/teenager so I heartily recommend it to everyone – young and old alike!
There were only two drawbacks to Lumberjane’s Vol. 1 for me. One was that a large part of the back was devoted to a Lumberjane’s Cover Gallery which dropped in my lap completely unexpected. I didn’t realize it was there so had been powering through expecting another issue only to be deeply saddened that I had run out of story. The other is not so much a drawback but a personal feeling about the art. Although I knew Lumberjane’s was a collab, I had (wrongfully) assumed Noelle would be doing the art for this issue which I was quite disappointed by. After a while, I stopped noticing that Brooke’s style was very different from Noelle’s and it didn’t bother me too much but I also didn’t overwhelmingly love it either. Also, looking over the alternative covers, one of them shows potential character designs including a design for April as a black girl which I’m really disappointed they didn’t decide to go with as there is no black main character!
Regardless, Lumberjanes is AWESOME. Everyone should read it, especially on days when they need to be cheered up ❤ Now I just need to buy all of the issues and recruit my own Lumberjane team!