‘Lumberjanes: Vol 2’ Comic Review
Lumberjanes caught my attention thanks to the amount of praise and buzz it was getting online. The artist, Brooke Allen was at a local comic book convention and I seized my opportunity to pick up Vol. 1, Beware the Kitten Holy. I was captivated from the first page until the last, leaving me with a yearning for more. So I didn’t hesitate to pick Vol. 2, Friendship to the Max, as my first review for Project-Nerd!
Following a group of scouts at a girl’s camp, Lumberjanes Vol. 2 collects issues 5 through 8. Jo, April, Molly, Mal, and Ripley continue to uncover the mysteries put forward in their first set of adventures. Things get crazier and crazier with each chapter’s conclusion. With every mystery that’s solved, another one takes its place, keeping the pace as relentless as the next. This differs from the first volume, which focused a bit more on the characters and relied heavily on the amount of mystery behind what was plaguing Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. But this doesn’t take away from the quality of the second volume.
Brooke Allen’s artwork is more refined in the second volume. Lines and composition are a bit cleaner, but the spontaneity within her panels is still present. Her work with facial expression pops off the page, causing some laugh out loud moments for me. Maarta Laiho’s colors are just as vivid, making the campground really pop with cartoonish colors, reminiscent of animated series’ such as Steven Universe or Adventure Time. I’m actually surprised – with the amount of accolades that this series has garnered – that Cartoon Network or Disney Channel or even Netflix hasn’t come knocking on authors Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis’ doors proposing an animated series deal.
The authors propel the story forward, with the second volume delving deeper into the mythology behind the three-eyed creatures running amuck, and introducing a new character or two. Each camper, like the previous volume, has a moment to shine, and shine they do. Jan goes from the mother hen in Volume 1 to a whole new direction in the second installment. She really grew on me as an endearing young adult. Her new role in the second volume adds a new facet to the Lumberjanes crew that doesn’t feel forced.
My only complaint is that too many questions may have been answered with the second volume. Seemingly, almost every storyline presented in the first is solved in the second. It’s fast paced, it’s revealing, but there was little left for me to keep reading. It felt complete. Like there wasn’t much more left for the Lumberjanes to discover for a third or fourth volume to be required. I do know they have continued the story in single issues, so there are more stories there. I hope once I read the third and fourth volumes that this stellar team continues to flesh out these amazing characters with fun and inventive storytelling. I would like to see them explore the mysteries behind camp-scout master Rosie, as this was one of the remaining plot points not wrapped up in this volume. It’s the one constant throughout both volumes which can really make for a great third if that’s where they’re going to go.
Lumberjanes: Vol. 2, packs in a bunch of answers in a fun, clever sequel that keeps us invested in each camper and their compelling attitudes and relationships. I am anticipating the third volume, hoping they bring new mysteries, new characters, and more of the fresh storytelling so present in this and Volume 1. This team hasn’t disappointed yet, so I’m confident that whatever will come before our lovely Lumberjanes, they’ll be up to task to make sure their camp is safe!