…they sound better than Girl Scouts! After tearing threw Nimona, I was pleased to have another Noelle Stevenson graphic novel around to immediately devour. The design of the book is really nifty as the layout makes it seem as though you are reading this adventure inside of a Lumberjane’s Field Manual. As a fairly new Girl Scout troop leader I loved reading parts of the field guide, learning about their badges and the appropriate way to wear a uniform. Each chapter ends with “pictures” of the adventure pasted into the field guide along with the earned badges. The attention to detail of what the badges look like and the requirements to get them were a nice touch. At one point there is even a shout out to Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low. Even if you have no connection to scouting, these details add a depth to the world making it that much more real and engaging.
The story opens with a group of 5 hardcore lady-types, Lumberjanes, out exploring the woods at night to earn their “Up All Night Badge”. The girls are staying at Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for
Girls Hardcore Lady-Types where the motto is “Friendship to the Max!”. Supernatural forces seem to be stirring around the camp and inquisitive Lumberjanes need to find out what the junk is going on. However, their exuberance has a tendency to get them in trouble with their long suffering counselor Jen.
Each girl is fully realized with her own set of strengths and interests that give her a moment to shine over the course of the adventure. The art facial design is simple, so you can’t pin down everyone’s ethnicity, but with a variety of skin tones and hair it is obvious they are a diverse mix. The girls also encompass a variety of body shapes. I appreciate the thought that went into these details. As good Lumberjanes they incorporate the skills they have learned to solve puzzles, avoid traps and generally kick ass in dealing with the supernatural. The story feels very much like a dungeons and dragons adventure wrapped up in a skin of scouting, camping and girl empowerment.
Adventure, puzzles, supernatural creatures and “Friendship to the Max!” meant I couldn’t put this book down. Fortunately, I was reading it while stuck in an airplane and was able to finish it in one go. I give this book 5 stars because the overall combination of the book details with actual content of the graphic novel elevate this beyond just a well written and illustrated story. I can barely wait for volume 2 to be released!