Bingo 16 (Illustrated)
I really liked the first few installments of the Lumberjanes series, and then things started to get uneven, both in terms of art and the story. Then came Lumberjanes: The Infernal Compass. This volume isn’t part of the main series exactly, it’s a stand-alone graphic novel, but it seems to go back to the original spirit in ways I really appreciated.
A significant bit is dedicated to a single story that’s not an obvious episode (a good thing). The basic story focuses on the group trying to work through an orienteering exercise but each member finds a mysterious robot and ends up disappearing. Molly does not quite have this happen; she has the strange compass the Riley noticed at the beginning of the story as acting strange and Molly gets found by a Lady Explorer. Eventually the two threads merge and the Lumberjanes solve the supernatural strangeness, life lessons are learned, and everyone is happy.
The art is both consistent and not. This part of the book isn’t by the original artist or creator (they left the project some while ago I think), but here at least that works out. The art is consistent, but it also doesn’t use full color the way regular Lumberjanes volumes do. Most of the story is shown in shades of a color I can’t quite place, but is a kind of gray. There are the occasional green patches which end up being significant, and I happen to like this kind of graphic narrative (the sort that actually uses things like color as a meaningful part of the story). This would have been almost really good if the dialogue had been more clever. One of things I appreciated about the first volumes was the wit and snappiness in ow the girls talked to each other; that seems to have been lost for now which is too bad but at least some of the spirit of the first bits of the story is here.
The second, much shorter story returns to supernatural shenanigans in full color that’s almost a retelling of the opening part of the entire series. I’m really not sure why that’s there except as maybe filler/preview of the main series, except why would you buy this if you didn’t already know the main series?