Review: The End Of Summer Looms In ‘Lumberjanes #73’

by James Ferguson

The time is finally coming when summer ends and the Lumberjanes will have to go their separate ways. I’ve been dreading this for ages. That doesn’t mean the campers are going to be all doom and gloom. There is some unfinished business to attend to. April has one last badge to get, while Ripley and Jo are taking a final trip to the Dimension of Lost Things. You didn’t think they’d finish the summer without a few more adventures, did you?

Although Lumberjanes often goes on crazy journeys, encountering dinosaurs, yetis, ancient gods, and more, it can also make the normal every day lives of these campers feel like adventures too. That’s the case with April’s quest for her badge. The way writers Shannon Watters & Kat Leyh frame this, you’d think it’s the final showdown for a powerful warrior with the fate of the entire universe at stake.
It’s so easy to get wrapped up in April’s quest. She has an infectious enthusiasm that pulls everyone around her in. We’re like asteroids in her orbit. It’s almost too strong at times, which she learns as the story goes on, but she comes around in the end with a valuable and adorable lesson.

Letterer Aubrey Aiese captures this intensity perfectly. Lumberjanes is lettered in proper case, which makes capitalized words pop with some added emphasis that a bolding just wouldn’t do. It all adds to the enjoyment.
April’s worry about this badge comes from an alleged feud with the counselor that holds it. This is referenced frequently through Lumberjanes #73 and at times it feels like it could be completely in her head. Artist Kat Leyh draws this out a bit with some quick glares that speak volumes. It’s like perfect sitcom storytelling and definitely produces some laugh-out-loud moments.

April’s badge is the “A” story of this issue, with Jo and Ripley coming in during the tail end of the comic to bring us home and leave us on a great cliffhanger. Colorist Maarta Laiho fills the pages with bursts of bright color that speak to the sheer fun of these adventures. The campers are full of life. They may be saddened by the end of summer, but they’re still holding their heads high and seizing the day in the purest sense of the term.

While I never want Lumberjanes to end, I know that it will have to sooner or later. Fortunately, this comic continues to raise the bar with fantastic storytelling, fun adventures, and dynamic artwork. It’s a total package and everyone should be reading it.
Lumberjanes #73 from BOOM! Studios is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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