Ever since I first heard that our very own Intern Grace — along with the group of other super talented comic creators Noelle Stevenson, Shannon Watters and Brooke Allen — were creating a comic together, I have been pacing back and forth waiting for that comic to actually come out. When I finally got my hands on a copy of it last week, I was not let down. Lumberjanes #1 is easily my favorite debut issue of any comic in at least two years. So often I’m worried that a lot of my friends won’t like the comics that I’m into, whether it’s because they’re too full of sci-fi weirdness, you have to know too much about the world, they have too much fighting or they’re too niche. This comic is completely without that problem.
If you like laughing, this is the comic for you.
If you like action, this is the comic for you.
If you like spooky stuff, this is the comic for you.
If you like friendship, this is the comic for you.
If you like camps, this is the comic for you.
If you like girls, this is the comic for you.
If you like comics, this is the comic for you.
Basically, if you like anything, this is the comic for you.
It has hints of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Adventure Time, Gravity Falls, The Goonies and so much more. It has excitement, laughs and the kind of relationships that everyone hopes for. It also has enthusiasm, like genuine enthusiasm. Sure these girls are beyond cool, sure they make references about everything from punk rock icons to groundbreaking aviators, but they never do it in the ironic, too-cool-for-school way. They seem to be the kind of friends who actually can’t wait to hang out with each other and who can’t wait to have fun.
The art is so fun and full of life and adapts so easily to the supernatural elements. It’s able to be dark enough to make the spooky things spooky but also light enough to keep the book feeling fun and full of vigor. I also love love love the character designs. They all look like their own distinct people; they don’t suffer from “same face syndrome,” or even “same body type syndrome” like so many comic book characters do. And the way each character looks tells us so much about her personality. We’ve got Mal with her alternative lifestyle haircut and battle plans; April, a red-headed femme who isn’t afraid to start a fight or write down clues; blonde Molly who wears a Davy Crockett hat and seems to be most afraid of being caught and sent home; Jo, who knows the Lumberjanes pledge by heart and has a more rugged look; and little Ripley, all full of blue hair streaks, excitement and endless energy.
This is exactly the kind of group of friends I wish I had when I was growing up.
Aside from being a fun, lovely and amazing comic, I feel like it’s also vitally important. There are so many stories about young boys who team up and go on adventures: Stand By Me, Kings of Summer, the previously mentioned Goonies, Super 8, The Sandlot and the list goes on and on. However, for girls, their adventures usually rotate around babysitting, dating and sleepovers. Now, all of those things are great (and some of them are sure to pop up in Lumberjanes), but girls also need to know that they can explore the woods, fight bad guys and save the day. Young girls realizing that their futures are wide open and they can do anything is one of my favorite tropes, and Lumberjanes taps right into it.
If you have a younger girl in your life (or younger nonbinary person or even a younger boy) you’ve got to show them this comic. If I had gotten a hold of this when I was twelve, I wouldn’t have cared about anything else. I’m pretty sure the creators tapped into the daydreams of fifth graders across the country to make this comic. But they also made it with other people in mind. While this is the perfect comic for your little sister, it’s also the perfect comic for you. It doesn’t try to appeal to the lowest common denominator, it doesn’t water things down and it doesn’t hold any punches.
I absolutely cannot wait until the next issue. I’m already way invested in these girls, their relationships with each other and the adventures they’re going to have. Due to all the action that’s packed into the first issue, we don’t get to know each of the girls that well, but that’s perfectly okay. This is a first issue, and if it does one thing right, it gets you absolutely hooked. You can get copies of Lumberjanes #1 at your local comic shop (if they’re sold out, you can always ask them to order more) or online from BOOM! Studios.
There’s even a frickin’ mixtape playlist in the back! I mean, come on, what more could you want?
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.
Header by Rory Midhani
I am really like really desperate to read this, but for some reason the shipping to the UK is $30 which is not really something I can afford :( Living vicariously through you guys
check your local comic shop? i found it in australia (to my surprise) on the same release day!
I picked it up in my local comic store here in Yorkshire :) so it’s in the country for sure. Check out your nearest comic store, if they have adventure time they can get it.
I got it from the ebay shop aplaceinspace for £2.75, and you can get it here: http://www.forbidden-planet.co.uk/ for same plus postage! You have to be pretty quick though.
Is digital not an option? I know it’s not as great as having a hard copy, but if you’re desperate to read along and don’t want to pay a mint, digital might work (if it’s not country-specific). A link is here, and PayPal is an option: https://www.comixology.com/Lumberjanes/comics-series/16309
Hey Mey, do you know if the comic will ever be available via iBooks or any other ereader platform?
This is so awesome!
It’s available on comixology:
At the very least, you can read from your web browser. Not sure about iBooks or other e-reader specific platforms (I read via the comiXology app on my iPad).
Yes! Thank you! I totally forgot to add the link to comixoligy, but it’s definitely available there!
Awesome! Headed there now! Thanks y’all.
Yes! It’s available through ComiXology, which has an app for all kinds of mobile, as well as being available for web-based reading: https://www.comixology.com/Lumberjanes/comics-series/16309
I’m not positive it’s available in PDF form (which would be great for non-Android/iOS/Kindle Fire devices), but this is a great way to keep up without needing to leave the house or pay for shipping.
Woops, didn’t realize this was answered a LITERAL MONTH AGO. So sorry!
I’m a little scared to go into a comic book shop – will Intern Grace or anyone else be selling these at A-Camp? I would definitely buy one there.
I was totally scared to go into a comic shop! It seemed like a male dominated space and I was super nervous. But it was totally fine, and I felt empowered buying Lumberjanes, like I was making a queer stand.
I second the above comment. I buy maninly queer character based comics (Batwoman…i mean Batwoman and batwoman) and told the local guy about lumberjanes. He was pretty psyched to get it on the shelves and liked the concept. I could just be lucky but generally I’ve enjoyed my comic book store adventures.
I used to work in an awesome comic book shop, but I can understand why they can be intimidating places. Check out this tumblr: http://haterfreewednesdays.tumblr.com/masterlist they rate comic book shops in terms of how safe their spaces are. Maybe there is one near you. :)
Also, check out Noelle Stevenson’s swank advice: http://gingerhaze.tumblr.com/post/77286541280/any-tips-for-intimidated-first-timer-girls-that-want-to
You can also purchase it online and they’ll send it straight to your house, yay interwebs!
If it helps, I was totally intimidated to go into the comic shop for the first time, but was pleasantly surprised to find it not nearly as intimidating as I thought! They totally knew Lumberjanes right away, and were super nice when I said it was my first comic. I’ve been back a few times already. I’m really glad I found a new fun thing.
Love it so much!
This is my first ever comic book and I love it! I work with 5th graders, and there are a few I can’t wait to lend it to.
When does the second issue come out?!?!
May 14th I think.
I love it. I have recommended it to every human I have any contact with and twitter and Instagram and am verging on starting to spread the word door to door.
It’s so good to see a group of girls represented in this way, it totally is a childhood dream come true. Everything Mey said about Super 8 and the goonies…just exactly right.
I’m officially obsessed. Like, I love everything about these. Also my first foray into comic book land, but so so glad I took the leap! I will be shouting the praises from the rooftops. Thanks for bringing these rad ladies into my life!
So far from the art you’ve shown here, I don’t see any feminine black women, so once again I feel absent. Pass
You’re right, I did leave out any pictures of Jen, the girls’ cabin leader. But that’s my fault, not the comic’s. I’m not sure exactly how feminine she is after one issue, but according to Noelle Stevenson on twitter, “Jen is the best character on Lumberjanes and before too long everyone will see it.”
A-Camp veterans, is Lumberjanes an accurate depiction of your experiences there?
Basically the very same, except at A-Camp I wandered into the woods at 4am after actual women, not weird supernatural versions. I think.
OMG yes! I’m gonna pick up a copy from ComiXology right away!
Ok, I need this in my life.
also if I buy one can I have Intern Grace sign it at A Camp. OOOOHHHHH.
I played the Fox Fight Jams playlist on my radio show on Saturday (and on the website where I post my set lists, I put a link so people can buy the comic!) and it was a big hit! I hope they include one in every issue.
Everything about this comic is the best ever. Even my brother loved it and laughed out loud at the Joan Jett reference and other jokes throughout. I cannot wait for Issue #2.
So good. SO GOOD. Former Girl Scout, but, more importantly, former Girl Scout Camp Counselor. This was everything I dreamed of and more.