Review: Battling The Tricky Sticky In ‘Lumberjanes #72’

by James Ferguson

At long last we learn how Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types got started. Jane returns home to take over the camp from her mother, bringing it to its current form, but what happened to her afterwards? And what’s going on with this creepy plant terrorizing the plant life in the modern day?

Lumberjanes #72 works on a few levels, wrapping up the origin story of the camp I didn’t know I wanted, delivering some amazing character interactions between Rosie and Abby, and having the campers from Roanoke cabin involved in a new adventure. I will admit that the opening pages left me hanging as they seemed to have finished Jane’s story so simply and quickly. Writers Shannon Watters & Kat Leyh quickly showed that that was just the end of one chapter in Jane’s life. There is much more to explore and I can’t wait to see it.
Artist Julia Madrigal handles the flashback scenes, creating a nice contrast with Kanesha C. Bryant’s work in the present day. The former is more realistic while maintaining an overall positive vibe while the latter is full on cartoony with super expressive characters. Similarly, colorist Maarta Laiho establishes a different palette for each era, with darker, slightly ominous scenes for the past and brighter, livelier colors for the present. The artwork gives the flashbacks a unique feel that differentiates them from the rest of the book.

The Lumberjanes are fighting off some deadly vines that they can’t settle on a name for. The leading contenders are Striking Creeper, Sneaky Creepy, and Tricky Sticky. Bryant utilizes the entire page to show how overwhelming this plant is. It wraps around the panels and breaks through them at times. Bryant’s work is made for action sequences like this as it becomes larger than life.
Bryant shows a tremendous amount of range in Lumberjanes #72, seamlessly bouncing from outlandish over-reactions to poignant emotional moments. This is especially true for the relationship between Rosie and Abby. They could be standing right next to each other, but there’s actually miles between them. There is so much to dig into with these two and we’ve only scratched the surface.

Letterer Aubrey Aiese adds just the right touches to these interactions too. Both women usually have big, powerful voices, but when it comes to speaking about their feelings for one another, they stop and stutter. Their speech gets quieter as they search for the right words to say.

Lumberjanes is always a delight and this issue – and arc – is certainly no exception. The creative team is firing on all cylinders, finding new and intriguing ideas and concepts among these characters and this wondrous place. Despite running for over 70 issues and a few graphic novels, Lumberjanes is still breaking new ground and surprising me.
Lumberjanes #72 from BOOM! Studios is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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