I don't like 'Lumberjanes'.
Waits for the boos and hisses from Tumblr to die down.
Yeah, the white male nerd doesn't like something that is clearly designed for a young underserved female audience, alert the presses. Okay, now that we've gotten my lack of qualification to talk about 'Lumberjanes' out of the way, I'm going to talk about 'Lumberjanes'. For what it's worth, sorry.
I was enthusiastically excited about the original series. I loved the art on the covers, and bought the first collected trade as soon as my shop got it in (actually bought it out from under the nose of another store nerd who was similarly anticipating it). I barely finished the trade, finding the writing flimsy, the interior art less charismatic than the art on the cover (different artists), and the overall vibe being a lesser attempt of the 'magic-and-summer-nostalgia' vibe 'Gravity Falls' had cocurrently accomplished so well. That said, I didn't dislike it so much that I resented its existence and recommended it frequently to young customers at the local shop, as it obviously had a certain appeal. I'm always happy to see creator owned properties sell, and am happy for its success regardless of my opinion of its actual strength. My personal copy of the trade is now in more loving appreciative hands and I hope that person brings more people into my local shop to buy more copies of this book I don't like.
The Lumberjanes take a nature hike, hear a scary ghost story, and then worry that the ghost story is real. It's a simple little tale, with a relaxed pace and with rich colorful artwork. It reads good, it looks good, and it doesn't rush itself. One of the interesting points about the story is, without getting too in depth to the course it takes, it keeps the story more mundane and grounded than the main series does. While I enjoy all ages series that tell stories with real world environments that are contrasted with fantasy (dat 'Steven Universe' yo), I've gotten a little tired of that set up being the post-'Adventure Time' default, admiring content like 'Clarence' for being able to tell stories in mundane settings. This issue focused more on that Summertime mood, and felt more like the series I imagined from the original series covers.
Illustrator Christine Norrie has lovely thick inky lines that balances the beautifully rendered scenery details with the lighter expressive character work. Maarta Laiho's colors perfectly showcase the line work, bold, balanced, and making the book's art stick with you longer. There's a backup story as well with some likeable art, but not being a particular fan of the comic's characters, it didn't leave as much of an impression on me.
Overall, a good standalone issue and one of the nicer looking one-shots I've read from Boom's all ages lines. For established readers and new ones, it's pretty accessible and doesn't lean heavily on the existing series for context. Give it a shot. Or don't. All things considered, not being a fan or in the target demographic, my opinion as a 'Lumberjanes' reader is questionably relevant. As a fan of comics though? Read away.
[su_box title="Score: 3/5" style="glass" box_color="#8955ab" radius="6"]
Lumberjanes: Makin' The Ghost Of It Writers: Jen Wang, Kelly Thompson Artists: Christine Norrie, Savanna Ganucheau Publisher: BOOM!/Boom Box Price: $7.99 Release Date: 5/18/16 Format: One-Shot; Print/Digital