Lumberjanes #65 Looks To The Stars
by James Ferguson
The Lumberjanes have seen so much over the course of their summer, including, but not limited to yetis, dinosaurs, shape-changing magic cats, a bear-lady, and gorgons. Now they’re looking for aliens. The Roanoke campers are joined by those from Zodiac cabin on this excursion, first looking for a meteor shower, but they have an ulterior motive. While April and Diane bicker, Hes asks Mal for some relationship advice. It turns out Mal and Molly are the “camp couple” and that is too adorable.
Lumberjanes is an awesome comic for a number of reasons. I am continually impressed by how it’s able to grow and evolve with each new story arc. It seamlessly switches artists in a natural way. Although the styles have changed, the look and feel remains the same. This is still as warm and welcoming as ever.
Artist Kanesha C. Bryant has a cartoonish tone to the images, making the characters appear a little on the younger side than usual. They’re like chibi versions of themselves. They are kids after all, so it’s rather fitting. Bryant captures the energy and enthusiasm the campers have when they get caught up in something. Emily is a great example of this. Her dream is to find an alien so when she shares this with the other campers, it’s like she explodes with excitement. You can’t help but get caught up in it too. Now I really want to find an alien.
This is amplified by Maarta Laiho’s colors. When Emily is explaining her passion for alien hunting, the background is replaced with stars and otherworldly beings. There’s a burst of energy around her shown in the yellow shine of the stars. Her interest consumes everything around her, sweeping up some of the others too.
Letterer Aubrey Aiese highlights this too. The dialogue is shown in proper case. Instead of bolding specific words for emphasis, Aiese shows them in all caps which works perfectly for the characters and the setting. You really get the understanding of how energetic and intense someone is when they scream out a specific word or phrase.
Lumberjanes #65 allows some of the Zodiacs to shine too. While I love the Roanokes, this sister cabin is full of cool and interesting characters with an array of personalities. Writers Shannon Watters & Kat Leyh touch upon everyone without making the issue feel overwhelming. It’s quite the opposite actually. It’s like you’re a member of this group, along for the ride.
While all of the characters are near and dear to my heart, Ripley is still my favorite. You can’t help but love her bouncy energy. This issue has her literally popping up out of nowhere which spooks a few of the campers. If you told me that Ripley knew how to teleport and just forgot to tell everyone, I would believe it 100%.
Mal has some great moments in Lumberjanes #65. She’s a confident young woman, but she’s thrown for a loop when Hes asks her for relationship advice. While it’s obvious to everyone else, she never saw herself or her relationship with Molly as a focus to others. Her reactions are great. Bryant plays this up with some exaggerated facial expressions showing the sarcastic and over-the-top responses.
Since Lumberjanes has conquered the supernatural world, it’s only logical that it jumps into outer space next. I’m sure there are tons of merit badges to be earned on other planets. This doesn’t feel like an abrupt shift, no do I expect a sci-fi version of the series to come about. It’s just another set of mischief these campers can get into and I can’t wait to see what they do with it.
Lumberjanes #65 from Boom! Studios is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.