Lumberjanes #2 is Summer Camp Fun with Endearing Characters

Lumberjanes #2Lumberjanes_002_coverA
Written by Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis
Art by Brooke Allen
Colored by Maarta Laiho
Published by BOOM!

“What the junk?!”

Like the first issueLumberjanes #2 is a delight to read. Co-writers Grace Ellis and Noelle Stevenson continue to explore April, Jo, Mal, Molly, and Ripley’s personalities, while putting them in hilarious and generally adventurous situations. Brooke Allen’s art continues to be a highlight of the comic with her grasp of setting and characters’ reactions to wacky and mundane situations. Ripley is a ball of energy; April is a little crazy, but bold; Jo is the oldest of the group, but still knows how to have a good time. Maarta Laiho’s colors give Lumberjanes a wilderness atmosphere that sometimes borders on the surreal,like her work on Regular Show. It’s not all fun and games though. (Who am I kidding? Of course, it is.) Lumberjanes #2 also expands the comic’s small universe to include mysterious and unexplainable events.

Lumberjanes #2 is all ages entertainment with funny jokes, action, and relatable characters. Ellis, Stevenson, and Allen do little things in the art and writing to differentiate the characters from each other. For example, both April and Ripley are extraverted and energetic characters, who aren’t afraid to climb trees or jump into deep rivers. However, April is a little more mature and able to channel this energy for productive things sometimes while Ripley just bounces off the walls. Even the older characters, like Jo, who is arguably the most mature character, gets a hilarious moment when Allen draws her doing a spot-on imitation of the camp counselor. To go with their unique looks, each Lumberjane gets a unique set of interests and sense of humor from Molly’s dry sarcasm to April’s puns. Lumberjanes #2 would be a good comic if the characters just sat around a camp fire and chatted, but Stevenson and Ellis put them in action-packed settings that show their bond as friends.

Brooke Allen’s art fluctuates from cartoonish realism to surrealism depending on the situation. Her art develops the characters as much as Stevenson and Ellis’ writings as she uses blocking, facial expressions, and beat panels to show their feelings. For example, April’s eyes are wide and starry when they go near water while Mal hesitates to have anything to do with it. She also gives Lumberjanes #2’s setting a nostalgic, summer camp feel while hitting at monsters and magics on its edges. Maarta Laiho’s colors makes the Lumberjane Scouts’ adventures warm and naturalistic, but with potential for trouble.

On a pure entertainment level, Lumberjanes #2 is one of BOOM!’s best. The action is suitably over the top, the setting is appealing, and each character has a unique voice and look. Also, its main theme of female friendship is woefully underused in comics. The plot also has a biger scope than last issue’s with the character introductions out of the way.It is hard to write about or read this  comic without cracking a smile.

 

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