With all the trouble the residents of Roanoke cabin get in, it’s a wonder they don’t get punished more often. Lumberjanes #69 has April, Jo, Ripley, Mal, and Molly up at the crack of dawn for some mandatory tree chopping with Rosie out in the woods. Along the way they begin to uncover the secret of Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types.
Throughout the dozens of issues of Lumberjanes, I never really thought that the camp had any kind of origin. I just went along for the ride, discounting the strange and supernatural elements that would pop up every other day, ranging from yetis and gods to a woman that transforms into a bear and so much more. This issue gives us a peek at what makes this place so special and I’m super excited to find out more.
This issue is told in a mix of scenes from the past and the present. The flashback sequences are handled by artist Julia Madrigal and the ones in the here and now are done by artist Kanesha C. Bryant. Their differing styles work to distinguish each time period without the need of telling you that we’ve changed locales and eras.
Madrigal’s work is a perfect fit for the mysterious origin of the camp, taking on a more serious tone balanced with the warmth the series is known for. This contrasts well with Bryant’s style which is more cartoony and plays up the sheer insanity of some of the things the campers encounter.
There are some references to the camp namesake in the flashbacks and not necessarily in a positive light. I’m very curious as to how this woman’s influence played a part in shaping the camp to what it is today and what these renegade campers are up to. This looks like it could be the turning point for the place, shifting from a prim and proper facility turning girls into young women to one of exploration and adventure.
Some of the momentum of Lumberjanes #69 is lost in Rosie’s lectures about different types of trees. These are fortunately kept to a minimum, but they do bog down the story a bit, suddenly turning the comic into a botany lesson. Writers Shannon Watters & Kat Leyh inject some humor in here, particularly in how Ripley tries to identify maple and oak trees. This joke would have fallen flat if not for letterer Aubrey Aiese’s work to emphasize Ripley’s points. It’s funny how the comedy needs to be adjusted for different mediums.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Lumberjanes comic without some adventure and that definitely builds up as this issue goes on. It leaves us on a great cliffhanger, turning more into a supernatural mystery than what we’re used to. I’m very much excited to see where this series goes next.