I’m a 30-something guy who likes superheroes, sci-fi, and crime noir stuff. I am in the target demographic for most comic books being published today. I am not in the target demographic for BOOM! Studios’ Lumberjanes.
I found it in the “All Ages” section of my local comic shop, not my usual corner of the lcs, but I was looking specifically for Lumberjanes. The book is about a group of girls at a supernatural summer camp. It’s funny and sweet. In the first issue our heroes break curfew to fight off a pack of three-eyed monster foxes. Lumberjanes is sort of Scooby-Doo meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer… at summer camp.
Its aesthetic is something like Adventure Time, but it’s a little less second-wave emo, if you know what I mean. Lumberjanes is more earnest and little less weird – more My Little Ponies. It has the potential to be a great, ironic adventure series about monsters and mysteries. When I was reading it, I was thinking, this book has that kind of “cool” factor I wanted to find in Black Science or Dead Boy Detectives but just couldn’t. You could say that there’s an “it” factor here that’s just hard to replicate; you could also just say this is good writing. After one issue, I feel like I know the characters and I like them. I want to read more about them. If you enjoyed The Fox, or you enjoyed some of the other books I’ve mentioned here, I’d recommend you give Lumberjanes a try.
It’s a cool book, though it’s a little precious in places. There’s dialogue like “What in the Joan Jett…” and dialogue like “I like kittens!” There are moments when the book is needling you in the ribs with its girl-positive message, but it’s not overdone. The art and the story are strong enough that this doesn’t feel like an animated lecture about male privilege. It’s a comic book about friends who fight monsters and get in trouble and argue and tease each other. They happen to be girls – sort of awesome girls.
Ultimately, the story is good, the characters are well drawn, and the art is stylish. I’m going to buy future issues of Lumberjanes. And if the series has hooked someone like me (way outside it’s target demo) I’m guessing it’s going to be a cult hit amongst the younger set. I’ve got a hunch about it, I think the first issue could be an in demand book before long. I’ll be picking up more copies on my next trip to the local comic shop.