The secret origins of the camp continue to unfold as a new botanical monster appears. Plus, Abigail returns, throwing Rosie off her game. These elements combine for a tense new adventure in the past and present.
I absolutely love how we’re learning about how the Lumberjanes started. Writers Shannon Watters & Kat Leyh are teasing this out a little with only a single page dedicated to the flashbacks. While I desperately want to see more from here, the creative team makes up for it with some great scenes in the present that are packed with solid character moments.
Much of this comes from the interactions between Rosie and Abigail. These two have some history and it shows. Rosie is always confident and strong with a big, boastful voice…except when Abigail comes around. Suddenly she’s unsure of herself and speaking quietly. Her entire demeanor changes.
Artist Kanesha C. Bryant showcases this very well. Rosie’s frustration and unsteady footing contrasts with Abigail’s sly confidence. It’s clear that Abigail knows the effect she has on her old friend and leans into it just a bit. She’s not outright mean, but she definitely holds this power over Rosie in a purposeful manner.
Letterer Aubrey Aiese adds to this with some great dialogue work. Rosie stammers a bit and this is even more noticeable since Lumberjanes uses proper case instead of all caps. I also really like how the campers’ whispers are shown, like ghost-like commentary for this meeting.
Bryant does some great work with emotions with a cartoonish style that amplifies the thoughts and feelings of each character. This is especially true for the campers who are basically the personification of the “eating popcorn” memes as they watch Rosie and Abigail go at it. The excitement rises as a new monster is discovered and they realize what they’re in for. As a reminder, they’re out here for some punishment so this boring day of chopping wood just got a whole lot more interesting.
Julia Madrigal illustrates the final page of Lumberjanes #70 for the flashback sequence. It contrasts well with Bryant’s work and differentiates the time period well while also maintaining the core qualities of the comic. There’s a scrappy aspect to this that I can’t wait to see explored further.
The bulk of this issue takes place out in the woods and colorist Maarta Laiho creates a feeling of wilderness all around you. The backgrounds are filled with greens and blues to the point where you can practically smell the pine needles and the clean air of the woods. It’s gorgeous and full of life.
Lumberjanes continues to grow and expand, building upon its ever-increasing mythos in new and wonderful ways. It’s one of the few comics I read with a smile from ear-to-ear because it’s just so much fun. This arc’s added layer of mystery as to the camp’s origins is certainly raising the bar.