Thursday, February 1, 2018

Lumberjanes Vol. 1 by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters, Brooke Allen | Comic Review

First Published: 2015
Young Adult, Fantasy
At Miss Qiunzilla Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's camp for hard-core lady-types, things are not what they seem. Three-eyed foxes. Secret caves. Anagrams. Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are five rad, butt-kicking best pals determined to have an awesome summer together... And they're not gonna let a magical quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! The mystery keeps getting bigger, and it all begins here.

Collects Lumberjanes No. 1-4.
When I decided I wanted to read more graphic novels, I knew I had to pick up Lumberjanes. For one, I adore the art style. It's so fun! For another, I really liked the premise, and I heard a lot of great things about it.

Unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations. My official rating of it is somewhere between 2.5 to 3 stars, and this is probably as far as I'll get with this particular series.

Now, I'm going to warn you. You're going to hear a lot of complaints here and not a lot of good things. That being said, this is not a horrible graphic novel or something like that. There's a ton of hijinks, characters to ship, cool designs, quirky atmosphere and setting. Those are all good things. So don't go thinking I hated this. But I guess my disappointment kind of colors everything, and I do want to say all I have to say. So... take that into consideration.

You see, the main problem I had with this one is that I kept feeling like I opened the tv on an episode from season 2 of the show. This general sense of "I've missed something that happened in the previous episodes" lingered throughout the entire read. I didn't know who these people were and what their relationships were like and where we were, and yet I felt like I was supposed to. 

I kept waiting for this feeling to dissipate, but it never did. Part of it, I think, is due to their reaction to all the monsters around them. They... well, they weren't freaked enough. Have they seen monsters in the past? Are they just a bunch of crazy girls? What is going on??

Another thing that kept bothering me is that this felt kind of like a Gravity Falls ripoff. And... well... Gravity Falls does the whole area with crazy monsters and schemes hiding in plain sight a lot better. Although I should probably clarify that I love Gravity Falls to death.

And then, I felt like there wasn't much struggle in the story. Every setback our heroines encounters got solved almost immediately by one of the Janes. It was... too clean. As a rule, I don't like clean problem-solving in stories. It doesn't feel authentic. And so... neither did Lumberjanes. 

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