Friday, August 10, 2018

Book-A-Day 2018 #222: Lumberjanes, Vol. 4: Out of Time by Noelle Stevenson, Shannon Watters & Brooke Allen

Any place with mysterious secrets has a backstory, by definition. And, the longer the creators take to roll out that backstory, the more convoluted and detailed it gets, with flashbacks and strange characters from the past and previously unknown giant mountains that are retroactively declared to have always been right over there.

Lumberjanes is full of secrets, at least at this point. (I'm running several years behind; maybe all the secrets have been answered and the comic is all-friendship-all-the-time now. But I doubt it.) Issues 14 through 17 of the comic, originally published in 2015 and collected the next year as Lumberjanes, Vol. 4: Out of Time, has most of the stuff I somewhat sarcastically described in that first paragraph and more.

It also has a lot of all-friendship-all-the-time, since that's the core of the series. There's even a boy who gets in on the friendship, at least some of the time, possibly because he doesn't feel quite at home with full-on boyishness. Whether all-friendship-all-the-time is available to male-identified persons is still an open question at this point.

If you're not familiar with Lumberjanes, I can direct you to my posts on the previous three books: one and two and three. They're probably not the very worst explanations of Lumberjanes online, at least.

But I do have to repeat, as I have every time I've written about Lumberjanes, that this is a series about young women (some people might call them girls) and their friendships. I am not now, and have never been a young woman, and I've been known to be grumpy about friendships.

So Lumberjanes is cute and positive and full of lovely art and smart and inclusive (of female persons) and adventurous and has interesting Deep Secrets that are being gradually revealed, but it's a book for young women and the adults those young women grew into. I like it, and I think Lumberjanes is happy enough that people like me like it, but that's not why it's here.

That is fine. That is better than fine; too much of the history of art has been made for people very much like me, and is still made for people like me today. What I'm saying is that you might want to get a female person's take on Lumberjanes. For just one example, can I point you to Johanna Draper Carlson, who is also much more up-to-date on reading all things Lumberjanes than I am?

Lumberjanes, as always, is written by Noelle Stevenson and Shannon Watters, and all of the art here is by regular series artist Brooke Allen. There are also now a couple of novels written by Mariko Tamaki for those of you allergic to the comics format but still possessed with a burning desire to experience the glory that is Lumberjanes.

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