REVIEW: ‘Lumberjanes,’ Volume 17

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Lumberjanes Volume 17 - But Why Tho?Lumberjanes Volume 17 collects issues 65-68 of the Eisner Award-winning series about the campers of Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. The volume is written by Shannon Watters and Kat Leyh, illustrated by Kanesha C. Bryant, colored by Maarta Laiho, and lettered by Aubrey Aiese. The series, created by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, and Brooklyn Allen, is published by BOOM! Studios imprint BOOM! Box.

Lumberjanes Volume 17 is a chance to spend time with some of the campers from Zodiac cabin. Diane and April are having a row just before an epic meteor shower is set to begin when the goddess Freija decides to grace the campers with her presence. Freija has everybody impressed except for Diane, who can tell there’s something fishy going on. Meanwhile, Emily from Zodiac really wants to go hunting for aliens tonight, and Hes needs to ask Mal for some advice.

This volume is as excellent as any, and I particularly enjoy getting to watch our usually amiable campers getting into some tiffs with one another. Diane and April start it off, but Jo and Emily are having at it over whether aliens exist and whether Jo’s scientific tracking methods are superior to Emily’s intuition. But the arguments are wonderfully juxtaposed by some really positive and lovely examples of opposites attracting.

Mal gets really embarrassed when everyone points out how she and Molly are the cutest camp couple, and Hes has a crush on somebody who is totally her opposite as well. The whole volume shows that differences in some of the basic things you like don’t mean there can’t be deeper things you share in common. This volume also concludes with the introduction of yet another excellent example of characters not conforming to binary sex, gender, and sexuality with a known character-revealing that she is asexual and beginning a romantic relationship with another character. The conversation they have about this is a tad awkward, but so is being a teenager and talking about your feelings, so I think it totally works.

While the art in this series is always wonderful, some of the earlier issues in Lumberjanes Volume 17 feature some odd illustrations of the characters that over-accentuate “feminine” features or poses. For a comic that is so clearly about the deconstruction of what it means to be a girl, these couple of instances are jarring, especially because it doesn’t occur elsewhere in the series and is ceased by the volume’s end. As for the character designs in general, though, I appreciate that for the most part, the characters are drawn with somewhat more detail and distinguished body types in this volume than at the series’ beginning. The one character design I don’t prefer compared to other iterations is Jen’s for the same reason essentially as above.

The colors are as wonderful as ever, especially the gorgeous sunsets and the epic battle between Diane and Freija. The letters are as perfect as ever, giving the impression that a teenager wrote this book in their summer diary. Which is precisely the type of framing device every paperback volume of Lumberjanes uses. The opening and closing entries in this volume are particularly on-point. The opening letter from the Lumberjanes High Council seems written precisely for these times, reminding the reader that while it’s hard being stuck inside, perhaps alone, it will end eventually. When it does, we’ll be safer for having stayed in, and we and our friends will still be there for one another. The closing remarks are also a nice touch, encouraging readers to learn about and discover myths and stories from peoples worldwide, especially stories not told as often in white-made media, which does make me wonder, just a little bit, why they did not just offer such a story themselves in this volume originally.

I’d call Lumberjanes Volume 17 one of my favorite volumes, but that would be silly because every volume is basically my favorite. This volume is as funny and heartfelt as ever as it explores new dynamics, personal and interpersonal.

Lumberjanes Volume 17 is available now wherever comics are sold.

Lumberjanes Volume 17
4.8

TL;DR

I’d call Lumberjanes Volume 17 one of my favorite volumes, but that would be silly because every volume is basically my favorite. This volume is as funny and heartfelt as ever as it explores new dynamics, personal and interpersonal.