If you haven’t been reading Lumberjanes, this is a good place to start. #13 gives us a peek into each girl’s life pre-camp: their families, their decision to go to this camp, of all camps, and how they all met. It’s absolutely a cuteness overload. Just when I think I can’t love this comic any more, #13 comes along and proves me wrong. Seeing these girls before they begin their adventures and start an incredible friendship is like seeing a #tbt of your best friend, or watching a home video of your sibling. Oh, you innocent child, you think, you’ve no idea what you’re about to get into.
The only girls who know each other prior to camp are Jo and April, which we already knew from the scrapbooking fiasco wherein we see a photo of the girls as young’uns. The others meet one by one and then all at once, and they take to each other instantly, falling in step as though they’ve always been a group. Poor counselor Jen is left to chase after them; she must immediately know she’s in for one hell of a summer.
We don’t see Mal or Molly’s families: Molly’s drop-off happens off-screen, and Mal’s mother, it would seem, couldn’t wait for some time alone, sending Mal to camp in a cab. But we do get to know Jo’s adoring, genius dads, as well as Ripley’s massive, exuberant family, and we glimpse April’s father before she eagerly takes off in search of Jo and new friends.
Jen’s giving the girls a bit of orientation when Ripley’s stuffed unicorn friend, Mr. Sparkles, is suddenly kidnapped. Ripley goes running after him, of course, and the others immediately go after Ripley without a second thought, while poor Jen helplessly calls after them about not going into the woods. There’s a schedule to stick to! But she follows them, because she is responsible. Have I mentioned how much I love Jen? She stubbornly tries to remain the voice of reason and the Responsible Person, and I just adore her. I’d certainly want her in my corner.
This issue is incredibly endearing, and if you haven’t been following this comic, you should give #13 a shot. If you’re already reading Lumberjanes, you’ll want to get to know our girls a bit more and see their first moments as a group. Plus, Brooke Allen is back on art! So I don’t have a single complaint about this issue. Honestly, if you’re not reading Lumberjanes by now, it’s time to get your life right.