I first heard about Lumberjanes from Robin Herrera (author of Hope is a Ferris Wheel and editor of comics), who is super cool and my graphic novel sensei ever since I started reading graphic fiction a year and a half ago and buying a lot it for the bookstore. She dropped the title in this casual way, like, "Oh, and there's this comic that's awesome and volume one is coming out in a few months and you might like it, it's called Lumberjanes..." So I pre-ordered volume one, only it didn't come for weeks and weeks and weeks even after the release date because it was busy being on backorder for being so amazingly awesome. And then when I did get it, my sixteen-year-old brother totally snatched it away from me!
But I finally read it this past weekend and...just, all the hearts. Lumberjanes smashes up so many things that I love--hardcore lady types, summer camp, friendship (to the max!), a sense of adventure, sharp humor, wacky supernatural creatures, and an ace ensemble cast. Like, Buffy the Vampire Slayer mixed with your favorite summertime novel. It's about the members of Cabin Roanoke, five super curious and hilarious and hardcore Lumberjanes (think Girl Scouts with a Joss Whedon twist) who are discovering that there is a lot more going at their summer camp than they could imagine. They encounter yeti in the woods, weird foxes, river monsters, and a super strange boys' camp in their quest to figure out what exactly is going on this summer, and they're not going to let anything stop them from having the best time ever.
The first volume contains four chapters/episodes/issues (or whatever the terminology is, I'm a comics noob, relatively speaking) that sets up the weirdness of the camp and the mystery terrifically. Strange creatures abound, the adults are being all mysterious, but once the girls have latched onto the mystery of the Kitten Holy not even their hovering camp counselor will be able to keep them from investigating. The clever twists on language keep it fresh--puns abound, their favorite "swears" are "What the junk?" and "What in the Joan Jett?" which made me cackle every single time. And can I say how amazingly awesome it is to read a genuinely funny and amusing story about girls who are being awesome and working together and living out believable relationships and tensions? It shouldn't be so revolutionary (insert obligatory grumbling about patriarchy) but it's just crazy cool awesome. And genuinely entertaining. And I love it. And I think you would, too. And your friends. And your kids. (Seriously, it's super entertaining as a YA, but it's even appropriate for MG-aged readers!) Basically, it's for everyone.
Volume One, Beware the Kitten Holy, is out now, Volume Two is out in October, and Volume Three will be out sometime next spring. Also, it looks like a live-action move adaptation is in the works! Fingers crossed!
Lumberjanes was purchased from my indie!