At Wonder Con we wandered past the Boom!Box and Archaia publishing table and noticed that we were severely behind in our Lumberjanes collection. This situation was immediately rectified. Volume one previously reviewed in I want to be a Lumberjane. In volume three, A Terrible Plan, Noelle Stevenson and Shannon Watters continue to produce highly entertaining Lumberjane stories with the help of some talented artists.
A detail I love about the Lumberjanes graphic novels are how each chapter starts with a page from the Lumberjane field manual and a badge description. This volume opens with the girls telling ghost stories to earn their “If you got it, haunt it” badge. Friendship, scary story telling, creative thinking and the previously earned “Up all night” badge are necessary to earn “If you got, haunt it”. This was a nice bit of continuity as the girls had previously gotten “Up all night” in volume one. Each girl tells a story and each story is illustrated by a different artist. My favorite is the story about a couple getting stranded in their car, in a snowbank. The man hears horrible scratching noises on the roof of his car of something trying to get in. A sheriff pulls up and offer to take them back to town. As he gets out of the car the man looks at the roof and there aren’t any scratches. The tailpipe of his car was clogged with snow and he was experiences carbon monoxide poisoning, had he and his wife stayed in the car they would have died. Auditory hallucinations and feelings of dread are real symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. “Scary stories are more than just a way to give your neighbor goosebumps, they are also a chance for you to share your knowledge in a way that is not only fun, but entertaining. After all, aren’t the best scary tales the ones that have a little truth to them? -Lumberjanes field manual”. I intend to tell this one to my Girl Scouts!
The next day of camp is a free day with no set activities, but the girls are encouraged to try different badge workshops put on by the counselors. Mal and Molly have other plans and go on a picnic date after extracting a promise that their friends (April, Jo and Ripley) won’t go on a crazy adventure without them. Hiding in a forest glen the girls share a picnic and more about each other. This is a nice interlude where we get to learn more about Mal and Molly. But nice and peaceful doesn’t seem to last long at Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul ThistleCrumpet’s Camp for Hard-core Lady Types. Soon Mal and Molly are sucked into a portal to a Lost World where time moves faster, there are dinosaurs, and ruins with sculptures of ladies holding beakers. Bravery and self confidence are put to the test as they try to make their way home.
April, Jo, and Ripley are bound by their promise and left to do “boring” camp activities instead trying to hunt down chupacabras or other exciting endeavors. April decides to take the day as a challenge to earn boring and possibly outdated badges and drags Jo and Ripley along with her. Thus we are introduced to the “Go ball-istic” (ballroom dancing), “Absence makes the heart grow fondant” (cake decorating), and “Pick up the paste” (competitive scrapbooking) badges. But earning these badges is not as easy as they might seem, especially when trying too hard. More important than badges though is living by the motto, “Friendship to the Max”.
Funny, charming, adventure stories with clever and heartwarming touches make the Lumberjanes comics compulsively readable. Details like the girls regularly calling out famous women, in this issue one call out is to Mary Anning, the paleontologist, while being chased by dinosaurs, keep me curious issue to issue. Lumberjanes is one of my favorite comics right now and I highly recommend them.