by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Brooke Allen, Maarta Laiho & Shannon Watters
Punk Rock Girl Scouts. The inhabitants of Roanoke bunk house at a camp for ‘Hardcore Lady Types,’ as the sign says, are a group of ragtag females looking for adventures. Lumberjanes is a brand new series from the Boom Box imprint of Boom Studios. The opening credits page features an excerpt from the scout manual about appropriate dress. While the rules are torn away, the model mock up is doodled over. The updated version features a few alterations, including non-matching multi-colored high socks. These girls, before meeting them, are not going to be the type that fall in line. But Stevenson and Ellis have more in store than some rebellious teens, and it quickly becomes clear that the camp has some strange secrets.
The way that Stevenson and Ellis introduce the readers to the new cast is well decided and carried out. Unnamed until later in the story, April walks alone in the woods. She is dressed very much like Red Riding Hood and soon comes upon two of her friends, Mal and Molly. The girls are out looking for something, but before we can learn what that is, they are surrounded by fantastical characters. The opening segment doesn’t last long, but it allows readers to learn the personalities of this new world in pieces. The girls are joined by other friends as they counterattack a pack of three-eyed foxes in the woods. Clearly breaking protocol, the girls hurry back to their bunks in hopes of avoiding detection by Jen, their bunkhouse leader.
The tone of the entire first issue is pretty light. There is a lot of whimsy to the interactions between the girls as well as their opening fight sequence. A major part of that comes from Brooke Allen and Maarta Laiho, who combine to be a very solid art team. The design of each character is distinct in every way. From height to facial features and even dress, the five girls are each unique before ever hearing from them. There is some great movement in the designs as the girls dash about, fending off the dozens of magical foxes. In addition, the entire look of the issue is interesting as a result of Laiho’s coloring. It offers a very cool tone to the issue that is difficult to describe, but definitely establishes its own character to the title.
As the girls make their way back to camp, readers are introduced to a few more characters as well as the likely trajectory of this book. Lumberjanes provides distinct voices for each character, some good teases for things to come, and strong art. It is a good bit of fun, this first issue, and the creative team seem to be having a blast making it. No doubt, this colorful group will see their fair share of adventures, and they have enough personality to take readers along with them.