To Be Brave and Strong: Should Your Kids Be Reading ‘Lumberjanes?’ [Kids’ Comics]
It's Kids' Week at ComicsAlliance! As the summer draws to a close and young comics fans get ready to go back to school, we're presenting a week of articles focused on great kids' comics, including comics recommendations for younger readers. Hey! Kids' comics!
Lumberjanes is a fantastical young adult comic that debuted April 2014 from the Boom Box imprint of Boom Studios, created by Grace Ellis and Shannon Watters. The series follows five adventurous girls --- who are all completely different --- in a camp where nothing is what it seems.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
The series kicks off with the Lumberjanes --- a slightly more awesome version of the Girl Scouts --- getting lost in the woods and attacked by three-eyed talking foxes, whose screams turns into light and spells out "Beware the kitten holy" in the sky. And it just gets weirder and funner from there.
WHO'S IT BY?
The series was created by Grace Ellis, a writer at Autostraddle.com who originally co-wrote the series, and Shannon Watters, an editor at Boom and the current co-writer.
The other former co-writer is Noelle Stevenson, who first became known as a fan artist and webcomic creator under the name Gingerhaze before getting her professional start with Boom Studios as writer and artist for Adventure Time with Fionna and Cake. Stevenson is perhaps best known for her fantasy comic Nimona. (Both Adventure Time and Nimona are great comics for readers of all ages!) The original lead illustrator wa Brooke A. Allen, who started her career with the off-beat comedic fantasy A Home for Mr. Easter.
The series is currently co-written by Kat Leyh and illustrated by newcomer Ayme Sotuyo.
Other creators who have worked on the title include A-Force writer Kelly Thompson, In Real Life creator Jen Wang, Nameless City creator Faith Erin Hicks, Marceline Gone Adrift artist Carey Pietsch, and Blue Monday creator Chynna Clugston Flores.
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL?
Lumberjanes is one of the most girl-centric comics ever made --- from the creators to the characters, it's jam-packed with girls. Even if you aren't a girl, though, you'll still probably love the story of five girls in a camp who all support and love each other, banding together as they face trials and tribulations such as bear-women and vampires.
Featuring a girl-on-girl crush and a trans girl --- both respectfully depicted --- this comic is wonderfully progressive. It has strong female role models, and powerful messages, which makes it stand shoulders above not just most kid-friendly comics, but nearly every comic out there!
If you're a parent --- queer or not --- who is worried about the messages your child --- queer or not --- may be getting from what they read, rest assured this comic has nothing but good morals and values.
WHO SHOULD READ IT?
If you want your children to read a comic that passes the Bechdel-Wallace Test every issue with flying colors, this is one of the few that does. Parents on the lookout for an excellent and age-appropriate comic for their children, and every scout --- boy and girl, and those who don't fit in either of those categories --- should adore this book.
If you want your child to grow up to be brave and strong, truthful and compassionate, this is the comic for them.
WHERE CAN I READ IT?
Lumberjanes is available at Comixology and better comic book stores. Three collected volumes are currently available.