Lumberjanes #60 Takes Us From The Belly Of A Sea Monster To A Birthday Celebration For The Ages

by James Ferguson

Through an ever-growing list of obstacles, April has pulled off the biggest surprise birthday bash for her BFF Jo. The only problem is that Jo is currently stuck inside the mouth of a sea monster. Don’t you hate it when that happens? Knowing how the birthday girl feels about all this attention, she might want to stay there for a little while.

The two sides of the story in Lumberjanes #60 begin separately and have this cool influence on one another. April has adapted Jo’s favorite cheesy sci-fi movie into a play and is putting it on the for the camp. The trials and tribulations of this crew mirror those of Jo and the other campers stuck out at sea. When the two finally come together, it’s beautiful.
You’d think something like a big sea monster would give some people pause, but this is Lumberjanes, after all. That’s like a typical Tuesday for them. They have accepted that this is normal and probably the least weird thing they’ll see all day. Artist AnneMarie Rogers captures that look of normalcy on the characters’ faces while also maintaining that sense of adventure that’s come to define them. This might be a regular occurrence, but it’s still something they’re going to have a good time with.

Rogers humanizes some of the monsters on display in Lumberjanes #60, like the yetis and werewolf Sea-Farin’ Karen. They’re not menacing beasts. Instead, they’re just people that look a little different. They want the same kind of things we all do.
When Jo eventually gets back to camp and sees what April has done for her, she has mixed feelings. Colorist Maarta Laiho shows Jo in the shadows of the audience with the other campers, completely in awe of this display of love and friendship. It contrasts well with the bright lights of the stage and the bombastic nature of this crazy story about the moon and diamonds playing out in front of them.

Letterer Aubrey Aiese shows how the audience is whispering to one another with word balloons outlined in dotted lines. There’s something about this small detail that instantly sends me back to childhood assemblies at school where we’d make hushed comments to each other while the show was going on. It’s a very nice touch.
This story arc has been building towards a confrontation between Jo and April. The former doesn’t like all the attention and lavish celebration that the latter puts together for her birthday. There’s a nice twist at the end of this issue that will put a smile on your face. Writers Shannon Watters & Kat Leyh manage to sidestep the blow-up between two best friends, instead making the bond they share even stronger.

This is the kind of stuff that makes Lumberjanes such a great read every month. It’s full of heart and friendship, which is something we can all get behind. This is a feel good comic with monsters, adventures, and good old-fashioned fun.
Lumberjanes #60 from Boom! Studios is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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