The 27th Annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards took place at the Indigo Ballroom at the Hilton Bayfront San Diego on Friday night, and it was a great night for diversity, for women in comics, for comics aimed at a younger audience, and for the future of the industry.
Some of you may remember that Lumberjanes, easily one of our favorite comics of the year, was originally slated to be an eight-issue miniseries. Fortunately for everyone, it was upgraded to an ongoing by virtue of being completely rad, but next week marks the release of the eighth issue of the series from Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis and Brooke Allen, closing out the first arc of friendship, merit badges, and creepy, creepy woods. And as you might expect for the start of a final chapter, things are not looking so good for our heroines.
You would think that after six months of adventures at a summer camp that is constantly being menaced by all manner of monsters and supernatural troublemakers, the Lumberjanes would have enough to worry about without the added stress of trying to pull off a heist. And yet, when Lumberjanes #7 hits shelves next week, from Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Brooke Allen, that's exactly what they're doing, going all Ocean's 11 (or in this case, Ripley's 6), with a log cabin standing in for a casino vault.
Lumberjanes is many things: paranormal adventure, ode to friendship, celebration of girlhood, viral success, emblem of a changing industry. A lesser book might have crumbled beneath these ambitions and expectations. It very immediately became not just a highly-anticipated comic, but -- for reasons included the fact that it's written, drawn, colored, lettered and edited by women -- an important comic, and that's as promising as it is dangerous. Privately, I had my doubts—it looked interesting, but I've been burned before by important books and I kept my excitement at a low simmer.
But five issues into the Brooke Allen-drawn series, Boom! Studios/Boom! Box's Lumberjanes has firmly established itself as one of the cleverest, most good-natured comics on the market. The story of a delightfully plucky troop of wilderness girl scouts (not to be confused with the Girl Scouts) and the variously hilarious and supernatural adventures they get into at summer camp, the book is buoyed by the emotions and friendships of early adolescence, and can be enjoyed by neophytes and collectors alike—including, happily, young girls. It is never didactic or (most crucially) boring, and it balances character focus and plot extremely well.It is, simply and uncommonly, fun.
ComicsAlliance sat down with creators Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Shannon Watters to discuss Disney movies, comics on Tumblr, and what's coming next for our favorite hardcore lady-types.
You're all reading Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis and Brooke Allen's Lumberjanes already, right? I mean, of course you are, we've been telling you how great it is since January, and in that time, the action, mystery and friendship have made it one of our favorite comics on the stands. So really, it's not like you need a preview to know that you're going to want to pick up the fifth issue when it hits the stands next week.
But, on the off chance that you want to know what you're in for, we've got good news in the form of an exclusive peek at Lumberjanes #5, with bad dreams and hints at the mystery of the boys across the lake. So get out your yarn and get ready, because it's time to make some friendship bracelets.
If there are two things I love in this cruel, cruel world of ours, they are, without a doubt, bragging about my accomplishments through clothing accessories and Lumberjanes, the incredible new book by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson and Brooke Allen that's currently coming out from Boom! Studios. And now, there is a way to combine them: At San Diego's Comic-Con International, looming ever closer later this month, the publisher will have Lumberjanes Scout Patches available for fans to buy and apply to their own clothing to celebrate what they've learned.
The badges will be based on the ones that have actually appeared in the comic, starting off with a set of four that include an unrevealed mystery patch, available during the con.
I've been excited about Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters and Brooke Allen's Lumberjanes since the day it was announced. It's been one of my most anticipated debuts of the year, and not just because Boom! Studios has been on a pretty solid roll of knocking out solid all-ages titles. Just the basic premise of a team of girls at summer camp fighting monsters in the woods with the power of friendship -- specifically the power of friendship to the max -- is so far up my alley that it might be committing a parking violation.
This week, saw the release of the first issue, and I'll admit that my expectations, as you may have already figured out, were pretty high going into it. The thing is, Lumberjanes #1 was even better than I expected on pretty much every level.
Boom! Box kicked off this year with a pretty intriguing announcement when they told us about Lumberjanes, a new creator-owned series created by Boom! Senior Editor Shannon Watters and Grace Ellis, written by Noelle Stevenson and Ellis, and drawn by Brooke Allen that tells the story of five girls who head off to scout camp and end up battling against the forces of the supernatural. It's pretty much everything I want out of a comic book right from that description, but there's always a little more to get excited about when it comes to the details.
To find out more, I spoke to the entire team about how the book is structured, why they chose to set it at a camp, and their devout and undying love for The Baby-Sitters Club. Also, the Spice Girls make an appearance you won't want to miss.
Let's be real here, folks: If you announce a comic where five teenage girls fight yetis, you already have my attention. If you add that it's a comic created by Boom! Senior Editor Shannon Watters and Grace Ellis, written by Noelle Stevenson and Ellis, and drawn by Brooke Allen, continuing Boom!'s seeming strategy of moving creators who have had success on Adventure Time, Regular Show and Bravest Warriors over to their own creator-driven projects, well, that's when the interest turns into genuine excitement. That's the announcement they dropped on us today with Lumberjanes, a new, full-color series described as "Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Gravity Falls."
Check out a little more information and preview pages for the new series below!