‘Lumberjanes Vol. 3: A Terrible Plan’ Comic Review
created by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson and Brooke Allen
The members of Roanoke cabin find themselves saddled with a free day, and while most campers would relish this kind of unstructured activity, our favorite eccentric campers actually find themselves completely bored with all the mundanity. Granted, when you spend your time fighting monsters, it makes sense that regular summer camp events like telling ghost stories, earning badges for things like making your bed, and cake decorating would be a little on the boring side.
This, however, doesn’t mean that dinosaurs were ever meant to be part of that “unstructured activity” time. And while two of the campers find themselves running for their lives from everyone’s favorite prehistoric creature, the others are left to do…well, the boring stuff. So of course, they have to make it as interesting as possible. There’s no such thing as ordinary or boring when it comes to Lumberjanes. While part of our crew sets off to get as many “real” badges as possible doing regular camp activities, Molly and Mal find themselves set apart from the rest of the group, with only each other, and that’s most of the heart of the story—the friendship between these two characters.
Lumberjanes Vol 3: A Terrible Plan continues the tradition of delivering beautifully drawn, colored, and written tales in this latest volume from Watters, Ellis, Stevenson and Allen. One of the most beautiful things about this issue is the very first section, full of campers working on their spooky storytelling ability, and with that comes some hilarious (and terrifying!) horror stories, accompanied by beautiful art and dialogue. Each story told by the campers has a distinct style about it, giving that air of comedy for the lighter “scary” stories vs. the super dark and terrifying horror tales.
All around, Lumberjanes is feel-good. It tackles issues such as loneliness and fear, combating them with friendship and love. Perhaps one of the most important aspects of Lumberjanes is its ability to feel real and inject emotion and real-world feelings into a world that’s clearly anything but ordinary. There are always lessons to be learned and stories to be told, and readers will find a character that they connect with, either emotionally or situationally. Above all else, Lumberjanes is real, despite the unrealistic setting, with strong emphasis on overcoming internal battles, making and opening up to friends, and acceptance.
Though, I’m sure all of us would like to attend a summer camp where friggin’ dinosaurs are a featured activity during the week.
Lumberjanes is bursting with creativity, color, and personality. It is a welcome change in the landscape of comics nowadays, focusing on what’s at the heart of friendship, encouraging creativity even with the most mundane and boring of tasks, and why everyone should try summer camp at least once (even if there aren’t dinosaurs or monsters to fight). The inventiveness within the pages and the natural relationships between characters makes Lumberjanes a wonderful read—a series that continues to please and entertain with its incredible storytelling, art, and themes.