Drawn to Comics: Grootslang! Grootslang! Grootslang! (And Lumberjanes #16!)

by rory midhani

by rory midhani

A few weeks ago we learned that this will be Lumberjanes’ co-writer Noelle Stevenson’s final run as a writer on the book (at least for now) and boy howdy, did she decide to go out on a doozy. Lumberjanes #16 is the penultimate Stevenson Lumberjanes issue and it’s setting us up for quite the finale.

Art by Brooke A. Allen

Art by Brooke A. Allen

We start with a flashback to a time when the Bear Woman was a young but still angry scout leader and Rosie and Abigail were a pair of cute, (seriously, I love the way Brooke A. Allen is drawing young Rosie) even younger Lumberjanes. The Lumberjanes organization was apparently a whole lot more strict and militant back then, and a lot more sepia too. We learn the tragic backstory behind Rosie and Abigail’s fall-out, as Abigail not only had Rosie’s back when she was getting in trouble, but also straight up saved her life only to have Rosie not step up and stand with her when she gets in trouble herself. Why can’t they just be brave and in love together forever!?!? We also learn that that same night Abigail became obsessed with a giant mythical creature called the Grootslang (which is totally real, by the way), which lives up on the mountain by camp and, according to Rosie and the Bear Woman, is way, way too powerful for Abigail, even with all of her dynamite.

So, now that we know why Abigail is the way she is, we’re not really any closer to stopping her (but in a way, that’s kind of not really the point, is it? I mean, who reads Lumberjanes comics just to see how the ‘Janes will stop the “bad guy?” It’s really more about friendship and girlhood and adventure and fun). We’re reminded of how important the relationships between the Lumberjanes are, when, for the first time in several issues, the girls of Roanoke Cabin are finally reunited with their beloved cabin leader Jen. The happy reunion is short-lived, though, as Rosie and the Bear Woman gallop (do bears gallop?) off up the mountain to try to stop Abigail from angering the Grootslang.

Art by Brooke A. Allen

Art by Brooke A. Allen

Rosie and BW leave Jen behind with the ‘Janes and Barney, trusting Jen to be her old self and follow all the rules and try to keep the kids safe and sound. But if that happened, this issue would be about four pages short of a full story. So they decide to “borrow” Abigail’s car and follow the tracks back to her house to look for a way to help. Mal tosses Jen the keys, only to find out that she never got her driver’s license (hey, no shame in that Jen, I don’t have a driver’s license either). That doesn’t stop her from trying though, and from having fun while doing it.

Back on top of Mt. Glory, Abigail has stuffed the Grootslang’s cave full to the brim with her dynamite and is ready and determined to put an end to what she sees as the deadly monster. She’s dead-set on taking this thing on, despite Rosie’s concerns for her safety and BW’s insistence that it doesn’t even care about them and she should just leave it alone. Then Boom Goes the Dynamite and really, Abigail accomplishes three things: she makes the Bear Woman run off, she buries the Lumberjanes in an avalanche of snow and finally, she angers a giant centipede with an elephant’s head.

Art by Brooke A. Allen

Art by Brooke A. Allen

Oh jeez, this issue was just jam packed full of action, wasn’t it? It’s really doing a great job of building up to a giant, super-dramatic, super-intense, super-incredible finale. Will Abigail and Rosie kiss and make up? Will the Lumberjanes escape from their snowy car tomb? Will Jo ever warm up to Barney? Will the Grootslang destroy all of them? We’ll find out all of this and more next month in Lumberjanes #17!

New Releases (July 22)

Archie vs. Sharknado #1 (Archie Comics)

Adventure Time #42 (Boom!)

Power Up #1 (Boom!)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 #17 (Dark Horse)

Harley Quinn and Power Girl #2 (DC)

Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #12 (DC)

We Are Robin #2 (DC)

Wonder Woman #42 (DC)

Swords of Sorrow #3 (Dynamite)

Swords of Sorrow: Red Sonja/Jungle Girl #1 (Dynamite)

Baby-Sitters Club Vol. 1: Kristy’s Great Idea (Graphix)

Edward Scissorhands #10 (IDW)

Infinite Loop #4 (IDW)

All-New Hawkeye #4 (Marvel)

Welcome to Drawn to Comics! From diary comics to superheroes, from webcomics to graphic novels – this is where we’ll be taking a look at comics by, featuring and for queer ladies. So whether you love to look at detailed personal accounts of other people’s lives, explore new and creative worlds, or you just love to see hot ladies in spandex, we’ve got something for you.

If you have a comic that you’d like to see me review, you can email me at mey [at] autostraddle [dot] com

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Mey Rude is a fat, trans, Latina lesbian living in LA. She's a writer, journalist, and a trans consultant and sensitivity reader. You can follow her on twitter, or go to her website if you want to hire her.

Mey has written 572 articles for us.


  1. There are a few other comics worth considering this week. In addition a number of those you’ve already listed, I’m also getting the following 3 comics.

    The Prez #2
    Justice League 3001 #2
    Spider-woman #9

  2. I’ve got to catch up on Lumberjanes. That grootslang wikipedia linked to this article about a white dude that decided to head on to South Africa to find this treasure and maybe got himself eaten by the grootslang.

    “The first night in camp a lion killed one member of the expedition and seriously injured a second. A few days later a third companion died of either a poisonous insect bite or snakebite. A fourth man became sick and begged to be taken back to civilization.

    That left only Mr. Grayson, since the two remaining members of the expedition “volunteered” to take the sick and wounded men to the nearest village for medical treatment.

    “I can do this on my own,” he boasted to the guides before they left him alone in the wilderness.

    That was the last time Mr. Grayson was seen or heard from. When a rescue party returned a week later, they found the camp deserted and no sign of the Englishman.”

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