Picking up right where volume 1 left off, Lumberjanes, vol. 2: Friendship to the Max follows Jo, April, Molly, Mal, Ripley, and Jen as they try to figure out why all those freaky things keep happening at summer camp. In this second volume, we meet even more campers, specifically Diane, who definitely knows more about the weird occurrences than she’s letting on. The campers have to band together to fight some raptors that appeared in the outhouse and dominate an epic game of Capture the Flag.
Volume 3 begins with the girls working on their “If You’ve Got It, Haunt It” badge by telling ghost stories around the campfire. Each of the six mini ghost stories is illustrated by a different artist, capturing the personality of the girl telling the story. Starting with the next issue, the girls have a free day at camp. Mal and Molly go off to have a quiet picnic lunch together, while the other girls decide to earn some of the regular “boring” badges. Naturally, nothing goes according to their plans. Mal and Molly spot the Bearwoman, decide to follow her and end up stuck in a lost time and place hiding from vicious dinosaurs. April, Ripley, and Jo discover they’re not great at the boring, mundane activities.
With the exception of “If You’ve Got It, Haunt It,” the art for volume 3 was done by Carolyn Nowak rather than Brooke Allen (the artist for volumes 1-2). The change in artist is a little jarring at first, after getting so used to Allen’s style, but after a few pages, I stopped noticing. Nowak’s style fits really well in the Lumberjane universe, and her facial expressions are amazing. Maarta Laiho continues to do the colors for the series, which provides a sense of familiarity despite the artist switch.
The story continues to provide the snappy dialogue and action we’ve come to expect from the Lumberjanes. Stevenson, Ellis, and Watters have managed to keep this series totally engaging and charming. If anything, I find myself liking it more and more with every volume that is released, as we get to know the girls better. The characters are so endearing, and the depictions of awesome lady friendships thrills me.
This is a series that I think belongs in every library. It’s fun, action packed and has such a great cast of diverse characters. I shelve it in the teen section at my library, but I wouldn’t hesitate to give it to a 9 or 10 year old girl or boy looking for a fun fantasy adventure.
I just discovered that the single issues have character mixtape track lists at the end, and I wish those of us reading the trades got those! Also, I would love if there were a quick rundown of each of the women referenced by the girls as part of the book’s backmatter. These are just nitpicks, though. This series continues to be a total delight to read and definitely one I could unequivocally recommend to just about everyone.
Lumberjanes, vol. 2: Friendship to the Max
Lumberjanes, vol. 3: A Terrible Plan
by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters
Art by Brooke Allen, Carolyn Nowak
ISBN, vol. 2: 9781608867370
ISBN, vol. 3: 9781608868032
Boom! Box, 2015-2016