Writers: Shannon Watters & Kat Leyh
Lumberjanes has been a delightful read since issue 1 and it has been a wonderful experience watching it come more and more into its own since then. As the series has progressed, the various writers have not only found their collective stride in creating the series’ particular brand of charm and quirk but also in developing the more serious side of the series. With issue #51 Lumberjanes delves further into the territory of real relationship issues between its characters and the slow development of said characters. Ripley and Mal take center stage this issue as they find themselves stuck underground with April, and we get to see their personal growth into responsible and thoughtful young women. While Lumberjanes has always been positive and family-friendly it’s good to see the characters maturing and continuing to set a good example for the young target audience as they grow along with the series more than four years after its debut.
Beyond that, Lumberjanes largely continues to be its usual delightful self. The sense of wonder (and occasional slight terror) at the supernatural phenomenon that the campers encounter hits the mark just as much as they always do, especially when Ripley, April, and Mal encounter a fluorescent fungus in their subterranean adventures. The interactions between the characters feel more genuine and fun than ever now that Zodiac cabin is getting more interactions with the main Roanoke girls, and those characters individually are proving to be as delightful as the primary six.
One complaint I do have with the series – and which issue 51 exacerbates – is the slow development of the overarching plot. While the volume-length adventures that compose the series are all well and good, the very occasional hints provided to what exactly is going on in the woods around Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady-Types are mildly frustrating because of their infrequency. Individual arcs and issues are well paced, but over-all I wish we were getting information a little bit faster, especially since the information we do have is so intriguing.
Longtime fans of Lumberjanes are aware by now that the series periodically adopts a new art style done by a different illustrator. This arc teams up writers Shannon Watters and Kat Leyh with artist Dozerdraws. I have to admit that each time Lumberjanes rotates a different artist in I take a short adjustment period. I am used to it now, and this arc was no exception. Without fail, the artist will, in fact, grow on me because they are invariably as charming and as good at visually capturing the spirit of the series as their peers.
There’s not much to really grab newcomers to Lumberjanes in issue 51 – which is to be expected, really – but returning readers should enjoy it just as much as the rest of the series, if not more. I enjoy my time with the campers each month, and I look forward to the next installment as well.
Lumberjanes' typical charm keeps my attention quite well as the series takes another break from developing its longer storyline.