Graphic Novel Review: Lumberjanes Volume 1

Note: This review is part of the 2016 Summer Reading Diversity Spotlight.

Lumberjanes, Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy
By Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters, & Brooke A. Allen
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Publisher: BOOM! Box
Genre: All Ages Fantasy
ISBN: 978-1608866878
Source: Comixology Unlimited
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At Miss Qiunzilla Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s camp for hard-core lady-types, things are not what they seem. Three-eyed foxes. Secret caves. Anagrams. Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are five rad, butt-kicking best pals determined to have an awesome summer together… And they’re not gonna let a magical quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! The mystery keeps getting bigger, and it all begins here.  Volume One collects Lumberjanes No. 1-4.


First, how awesome is it that this story is written and illustrated entirely by women?! Pretty darn cool. Second, I did not know what to expect from this story, so I was pleasantly surprised with just how much fun it was. Close to laugh out loud funny in a charming, quirky, and extremely silly kind of way. Just what I needed to lift the spirits. When a group of girls head to camp, they are in for the surprise of their lives as they stumble upon fantastical creatures that go bump in the night (and day). I really enjoyed the setting of camp and following the girls and their adventures, each one bringing a different element of entertainment to the mix.

That said, it is only volume one and it’s a real slow burn in regards to character backstory and development. The five girls are distinctly established but there’s clearly so much more we have to learn about about them, so I’m excited to continue reading this story to connect even moreso with Mal, Molly, Ripley (even though at the moment she’s my least favorite character), Jo, and April.

And while the theme of friendship is strong here, which I absolutely love, I’m also interested in seeing how the relationship with Mal and Molly evolve as it seems the two will soon become more than just friends (and based on the spoilers I’ve seen, yeah, it happens). I love that there’s not special attention put on what’s going on between these two because the camp is so open as is, that it’s a non issue. And it’s handled so innocently, making it easier for LGBT youth to read this and relate to it with more ease than say, a message heavy coming out story line. Anyway, anticipating what becomes of these two!

As far as the art goes, it took me awhile to get used to it but once I was really into the story, I began to connect more with it and loved it by the end. I love how colorful not only the pages are but the story in itself is, it makes for the perfect balance, the perfect tone.

If you like adventure, if you like mysteries, if you want to laugh, if you want to root for smart girls who know how to fend for themselves (feminist themes for the win!), if you want a racially diverse cast of awesome characters, if you want supernatural elements that will awaken your childlike imagination, check out Lumberjanes. This story is for all ages though I’d say it’s more for younger audiences with a heart for adventure as well as anyone who needs a story where they know going into it that it’s more innocent and silly and jovial than anything else. This is just good ol’ fun. So be sure to check it out before the movie adaptation!

Lumberjanes, Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters, Brooke A. Allen is available today.

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