A war between goddesses has broken out as Diane and Freya fight over the fate of Marigold, a super powered kitten. The campers watch in equal parts terror and excitement as one of their own goes toe-to-toe with a Norse legend. Also, the hunt for aliens comes to an end with an unexpected twist.
Artist Kanesha C. Bryant does a tremendous job with the artwork in Lumberjanes #68. The tense fight scenes are softened by some cartoonish expressions without losing any of the fun. You understand the sheer power at work, but it’s not like the world is ending because of this battle. The two goddesses are really giving it their all and that shows on their faces. Diane’s is twisted into a fierce and conniving scowl while Freya is pushed to her limit.
This comes about because they each have something very different they’re fighting for. For Diane, it’s about pride because her friends seemed to be enamored with this newcomer, forgetting that there’s a literal goddess walking among them all the time. She’s also fighting for friendship since Marigold is Barney’s cat, regardless of where he found her and Diane isn’t going to let anyone just come and snatch her away. Freya’s reason for battle is personal and completely in spoiler territory so I’m not going to go into details here. It’s definitely a nice surprise that brings everything together by the end of the issue.
Colorist Maarta Laiho makes the battle come alive with some bright purples and yellows, signifying the special powers both women are tapping into. Diane shoots glowing purple arrows pulled from thin air. They are unlike anything else in this comic so they really pop on the page.
The fight scenes are interspersed with some great character moments. Writers Shannon Watters & Kat Leyh go through a number of emotions, from fear and doubt to joy and excitement and everything in between. While I love the big crazy adventures these campers get into, it’s this development that really makes Lumberjanes stand out. We’ve developed a deep connection to these characters, even the minor ones.
The cartoonish quality in Bryant’s artwork really shines during the non-battle scenes. Characters are a little over-expressive, adding an emphasis to a punchline or going all out with an emotion. It’s a perfect fit for the dialogue and interactions between the characters.
Letterer Aubrey Aiese adds to these highs and lows of the story and pacing, delivering smaller fonts for the quieter sequences and bigger, bolder ones for the more intense pages. I also love how Lumberjanes is done in proper case with emphasized words shown in all caps. There’s something simple and beautiful about it that really works well with the story and artwork.
Lumberjanes continues to deliver quality storytelling, great artwork, and an unparalleled energy that’s packed to the brim with pure, unbridled fun. Through it all, we get a lesson about friendship and acceptance that shines through without being super obvious. It’s impossible not to love this comic. If everyone was reading Lumberjanes, the world would be a better place.