Review: The Camp’s Origins Continue To Unfold In ‘Lumberjanes #71’

by James Ferguson

The origin of the first ever Lumberjane is finally revealed, filling the current campers with awe and questions. They won’t have much time to explore them as a boa-constrictor-like plant is threatening the area and all the wildlife and trees within. Meanwhile, tensions continue to rise between Rosie and Abby. The two will have to put aside their differences if they hope to survive this.

Lumberjanes #71 is effectively split in half with flashbacks showing Jane’s early adventures serving as bookends to the issue. These segments, illustrated by Julia Madrigal are chock full of hope, wide-eyed enthusiasm, and a yearning for more that seems to reach its peak at a young age. Jane didn’t realize how her work would influence so many others over the course of many generations. She trekked into the wilderness to learn about the world and the monsters within it because that’s just something she was interested in doing.
While writers Shannon Watters & Kat Leyh are still filling in the gaps, there are some hints as to what ultimately happened to Jane that I’m very curious about. With all the things we’ve seen over the course of Lumberjanes, it would not be unusual if she became some kind of forest spirit or deity. Needless to say, I’m very eager to learn more, although, it’s funny because I never really needed an origin for the camp, but now that we’re in the midst of one, I want to hear it more than anything.

I love the contrast between the flashbacks and the scenes in the present. Colorist Maarta Laiho uses a darker palette full of greys and browns for Jane’s life in the past which is the complete opposite of the bright colors shown with the campers in the modern day. This further shows the influence Jane had, bringing a burst of life and energy to the previously prim and proper camp.
Artist Kanesha C. Bryant reinforces that youthful energy as the artist for the present day scenes. She delivers a sense of pure fun to these characters, peeking into cartoon-like silliness on occasion. This is an infectious humor that makes it impossible to read Lumberjanes without a smile on your face. Since we’ve spent so much time with these characters over 70+ issues, they feel like old friends or even family. We have a good understanding of their personality and quirks and that comes out in Bryant’s artwork such as Ripley’s excitement and Jo’s stoicism.

I will also never get tired of how Aubrey Aiese letters Lumberjanes in proper case. It adds so much to the tone of every piece of dialogue as there are different levels of emphasis. You can see how someone could be blatantly yelling something or saying it with just a bit of a sternness. These subtle changes work wonders.
As exciting as the camp’s origin is, I’m just as if not more interested in the tension between Rosie and Abby. These two have history and it runs deep. The creative team says so much with small looks or things that are left unsaid. You can tell that they both want to say more to each other, but can’t quite make themselves do it.

I don’t know how many times I have to tell you that Lumberjanes is an amazing comic book. Yes, it’s got a great story and incredible artwork, but more importantly, it’s full of wonder, humor, and pure fun. This is a book that anyone can and should enjoy.
Lumberjanes #71 from BOOM! Studios is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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