“Lumberjanes” #8 will leave a kitten-shaped hole in your heart.
Written byNoelle Stevenson & Grace Ellis
Illustrated by Brooke Allen
What is powerful enough to turn the now-statue-Jo back to human? Will April take it too far on her quest to save Jo? Will Ripley bite someone? Will the Lumbergenius step up the game in time before the all powerful twins war ends the camp and all the girls hold dear? Obviously not. These are Lumberjanes here. The fun isn’t wondering if they will win but finding out how they will win.
“Lumberjanes” #8 continues to make readers smile at the misadventures of Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley as they seek to save the day, their camp/campers, and each other from the powerful, and rather rude, Apollo and Artemis. The writing of this issue is filled with as much expected plot-lines as it is with unexpected gems of story. The pacing of the story is fluid, and little to no time is wasted in taking us through the journey of defeating the celestial immortal twins.
The reveals in this story aren’t going to be ones that are unexpected. You can guess what is coming plot-wise and most likely be right, but its their delivery that makes “Lumberjanes” continue to be a joyous read. Stevenson and Ellis keep each moment of action rooted in wit, and a self-consciousness between the characters and the moves that they “should” make that makes each turn of this tale one to enjoy unquestionably. As Mal and April and Molly and Ripley are wondering how they could conquer campers and what power they all share together, the answer to this question isn’t nearly as important as watching the pals show it to us.
When a certain “I believe in you” is uttered, let’s just say I had to collect my squeals.
Issue #8 is all about watching the Lumberjanes develop as rich, witty characters. “Nerd Counselor” Jen gets to use her astronomy lessons finally and in a way that shows more cunning than we’ve seen of her before. Molly does her anagram thing. Kisses might be exchanged between campers. Faith in a pair’s future couple-hood might also be exposed in a heightened moment of action. As the problem is unveiled and then unveiled again we readers are left vicariously theorizing with the Lumberjanes on their moves to save the day which is loads of fun. I will also say that Ripely within these unveilings stepped up to find a larger space in my heart. It is the shape of a kitten, a world of cuddly kittens. That is what Lumberjanes #8 does to you from reading its mission of defeating evil in the name of friendship.
Allen’s artwork in “Lumberjanes” #8 continues to be romping fun, and really rock its transitions from scene to scene. Allen’s dynamic energy can be seen at its height in the “reading of the star chart” scene as Jen is running to and fro decoding the stars into a solution. As Jen is shaping the stars above their head literally, and April looks like she might explode, each of the Lumberjanes are drawn with the precision of their overlapping emotions with a clarity that isn’t easy to accomplish. In fact, the best part about this issue and a continued success of “Lumberjanes” is that not one character feels like an ensemble role in-scene. Allen is careful her depictions to show each Lumberjane’s vivid reaction (from kicking the crowd to grabbing someone’s hand) to happenings even if they aren’t in a speaking role.
Maarta Laiho continues to fill in the color with the heart of our characters. In her low-detail, full-color style the reader knows the details shown on each Lumberjane’s face will be done so with attitude and control. From April’s bulging red eyes, to the dreamy-like POOFS appearing on-panel when a moment of action is thwarted, Laiho continues to bring the warmth to one more tale on the true power of friendship and all of its weirdness.
Final Verdict: 7.2 – just the kind of tale on why friendship matters in a compact, quick, heartwarming read