Camp culture is something that we do not have in India as much as some western countries, basically we don’t have “boy scouts” & “girl scouts”, at least not when I was a kid. But I’ve watched enough American movies to know what they are about. Which is why Lumberjanes, a graphic novel by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Brooklyn A. Allen and Noelle Stevenson was a breath of fresh air.
Lumberajanes is all about the woods, wild forests, dark mysterious creatures, yetis, evil animals, walking statues, cursed boy scouts and a bunch of girl scouts bravely fighting them all! This is the kind of comic series we needed when we were kids. But at least whole new generations will be growing up reading comic books with empowered women and girls as heroes.
The series revolves around girl friends who are attending a summer camp where the members are simply called Lumberjanes. Each chapter starts with an interesting little introduction about a badge the girls can earn after they successfully learn a skill. Like a naval gauging badge if you can get your raft through dangerous waters without drowning to your death. Or the Robyn Hood Badge if you can shoot your arrows right.
The inks in the panels are so colourful and easy on the eye, I especially loved the panels that are set in the dark, they have a mystical, fantasy novel vibe to them. All the girls are hilarious and endearing as they embark on adventure after adventure in the book. Boys are rarely mentioned, they are just a passing unnecessary distraction in their story. I’ve read only volume one so far, plan to read the rest soon enough.
And please – take away the Cinderallas and Sleeping Beauties away from young girls and give them a copy of Lumberjanes.