New Comics Wednesday: June 15th Edition
Every week, Project-Nerd gives me the comics. I read the comics, and then tell you what to buy.
My goal? To make sure you end up with the most well-rounded collection of comics possible. In the best of worlds, it always works out that way.
This week, however, was very difficult.
I try really hard to focus this column on finding books that I think people will enjoy. It requires an air of positivity—an air that was very difficult for me to find after Sunday’s tragic events in Orlando.
I’m as active on social media as any average person, and the reactions on Twitter and Facebook ran the gamut from knee-jerk to well-reasoned, from misguidedly well-intentioned to justifiably outraged. I watched good friends argue passionately over gun rights, and whether this was an LGBTQ hate crime or an attack on America—or if there was even a difference between the two. Overnight, people became armchair scholars on an arguably outdated amendment and its relationship to American gun culture, erasing from the conversation an already isolated community that had just experienced a terrible loss on multiple levels.
So, as a generally upbeat guy who’s more concerned with finding good things in the world to share with others at this point in my life, my positivity well was running pretty dry this week.
That is, until I read Lumberjanes #27.
Lumberjanes #27 (Boom! Studios)
written by Shannon Watters & Kat Leyh; illustrated by Ayme Sotuyo; colors by Maarta Laiho; letters by Aubrey Aiesse
As a series, Lumberjanes is always of a high caliber, with vibrant, smart storytelling and incredibly well thought out character moments that we can all relate to. This week, however, it felt especially comforting to read about a bunch of young LGBTQ characters pulling together and using their heads to overcome an obstacle in a comic driven by a team of LGBTQ creators.
In the story, the ‘Janes have set off to rescue their camp director, Rosie, along with the Grand Lodge—a group of highly decorated, older Lumberjanes—from a giant bird that had kidnapped them a couple of issues back. After they’ve all been reunited, and similarly trapped, the Grand Lodge lay out a very extreme plan to deal with the “we’ve-been-kidnapped-by-the-giant-bird” issue via their crossbows, slings, and ballista. The ‘Jane’s horrified reaction to this plan is of particular relevance this week, as is their response—which is to show the Grand Lodge that there’s a more compassionate, thoughtful way to deal with our differences, even if the adversary is a giant, scary bird.
Under the themes of friendship and ingenuity, behind the giant bird monsters and magic kittens, the Lumberjanes team reminded me that amidst those who would turn to violence as a way to solve our problems, there are many more that look to more empathetic, understanding ways to affect change. This is evidenced by the myriad vigils in cities across the U.S., expressed international condolences, and the thousands of people who have donated blood in Orlando.
It’s worth noting—for the uninitiated—that comics are made in advance of their release dates, and that there’s no way that this story could’ve been a planned response to Sunday’s tragedy.
This is just the type of book that Shannon Watters, Kat Leyh, Maarta Laiho, and the rotating Lumberjanes artistic roster make, every single month. It proudly flies in the face of prejudice, bigotry, and hatred to show people that there’s a better way.
It’s also presented in a way that you can give it to anyone in your family, of any age group, color, or sexual identity, and it will resonate on some level.
There are a lot of different reasons people buy a comic. Some people buy a book because they like the artist or writer. Other fans find themselves inexplicably tied to specific characters, and will buy almost anything that has a bat, “X”, or big, red “S” on the cover.
Buy this one because it’ll remind you that there are still heroes out there who can save you without throwing a single punch.
Also available this week:
Alterna — Trespassers #3
Boom! Studios — Adventure Time: Ice King #6, Joyners #1, Joyride #3, The Spire #8, Turncoat #4
Dark Horse — BPRD: Hell On Earth #142, Dark Horse Presents Vol 3 #23, Plants Vs. Zombies #12, The Tomorrows #6, Weird Detective #1
Dynamite — Dejah Thoris #5, Devolution #5, Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files: Wild Card #4, Lords of the Jungle #4, Smosh #2, Twilight Zone: The Shadow #3
IDW — Back to the Future: Citizen Brown #2, Dungeons & Dragons Vol 2 #2, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #43, The October Faction # 17, Strawberry Shortcake #3, Tales from the Darkside #1, TMNT: Bebop and Rocksteady Destroy Everything #3, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #59, Transformers: Till All Are One #1, Transformers #54
Valiant — Archer & Armstrong #4
Project-Nerd is a press partner of BOOM! Studios, Dark Horse Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, Alterna Comics, Valiant Comics, Black Mask Studios, Scout Comics, and IDW Publishing. If you would like to see your studios’ content included in our weekly release article, please contact our editors.