Do you enjoy traditional summer-camp-based stories? What about ones with shape shifting old ladies, zombie boy-scouts and yetis? Tales that suggest an atmospheric playlist at the end of each chapter? Then Lumberjanes is the comic book series for you! Following the adventures of April, Jo, Molly, Mal and Ripley at Miss Quinzella Penniguigul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types, and their encounters with the supernatural, the mythical, and ‘friendship to the max!’ Lumberjanes is an utterly hilarious, adorable and enjoyable series, which will leave you wishing to join Roanoke Cabin with the girls!
We begin following a teenage April, who, shrouded with her cloak, is making her way through the dark woods. A deer jumps onto her path, and she gasps, dropping her torch, before bending down to pick it up, and then- coming face to face with her friends, all three burst into a surprised scream. Soon enough, the group of five reassemble, and begin to battle… large foxes? After attempting to sneak back to bed, but being caught by their camp counsellor, who escorts them to the camp leader’s cabin, the girls claim they only left their beds as they were following a bear woman. As in, an old lady, who turned into a bear. At this point, the readers are definitely suspicious of magical happenings, if the previously mentioned foxes shooting beams from their mouths to spell ‘Beware the kitten holy’, hadn’t already clued them in. The ventures of the friends continue, from river rafting, to navigating their way through a labyrinth of tunnels underneath the forest, to solving anagrams and arm-wrestling ancient statues of warriors (It all comes down to leverage). Even though they do miss out on the Raccoon Rodeo, and the cute, friendly boy scouts do turn out to be possessed by an otherworldly force, the girls still revel in their amazing adventures, and their friendship to the max!
The extra features of each comic book also add to the charm the story provides. Within every issue, the girls earn another Lumberjanes badge, which appears on the back of the book. These adorably named patches are included, but not limited to; ‘Pungeon Master’, ‘If you got it Haunt it’, ‘Everything under the Sum’, and ‘Space Jamboree’. Another feature of all issues, save the December, and November 2014, is a playlist! Before the editor’s note, there is a mix CD, with listed tracks, and a cut out cover for the case. Many of these are already pre-made on 8traxx, if you do not wish to buy them, but each is beautifully tailored to fit the individual chapters of the story.
On a more serious note, another brilliant factor of the series is that they provide representation. Female characters, unless they are scantily clad, are not, speaking in terms of the majority, protagonists in comic books. With more and more female writers, this is thankfully changing, but I still find the series to be unique in its depiction of butt-kicking teenage girls, who are wonderful role models for anyone. I can think of no better compliment that the description of the series provided by Boom-Box Comics; “It’s like Buffy The Vampire Slayer crossed with Gravity Falls’. All three are adorably humorous, and all three, especially Lumberjanes, are certainly worth your attention.