Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Lumberjanes, Vol. 2: Friendship to the Max by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Brooke Allen

I am an old and cynical person, so I tend to think that objects that yammer loudly about "friendship" are trying to sell me something under guise of sweetness and light. But, despite that, I think the Lumberjanes comics really are about how it's really nice to have a group of people who like and support and care about you, and that such a thing should be part of everyone's life.

To repeat: I am way too cynical and old to be a good reader for Lumberjanes, but I enjoyed the first volume, and the covers scratch my wanting-to-see-more-Noelle-Stevenson-drawings itch. So I'm back for Lumberjanes, Vol. 2: Friendship to the Max, which is still written by Stevenson and Grace Ellis and drawn by Brooke Watters. (Regular issue covers are by Stevenson, special variant covers are by a huge number of other female artists, and colors are by Maarta Laiho. It should not be notable that Lumberjanes is made by a large all-female crew, since tons of comics have been made by all-male teams every single year since 1933, but it speaks to the authenticity of the project.)

This book collects four more issues of the series, which cohere more strongly than the first batch did and turn some of the odd mysteries of those first issues into a larger plot. (It's a little save-the-world for my tastes -- I like stories about kids at camp to remain more grounded -- but the whole point of this series is that it's not going to concern itself with what readers like me want it to be.)

I found that save-the-world plot came at the expense of the character stuff I liked better in the first few issues, and I lost track, a bit, of who the main characters were and their individual foibles. Your mileage may vary, obviously -- it's fun and sunny and positive throughout, but I liked it when it was a bit closer to normal life.

There's been a whole lot more of this series since this point, and I may continue reading more of it. (I still like these young women, and I'm not getting my Noelle Stevenson fix anywhere else these days.) And, again, for people younger and of a different gender profile than me, this is probably even more appealing. If you like camping and friendship and quirkiness and weird supernatural mysteries, Lumberjanes is for you.

(Note: this particular book also contains a long preview of Giant Days, which you might have noticed me yammering about before. No, you cannot avoid Giant Days. It's that good.)

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