Review: A Darkness Looms As The Summer Ends In ‘Lumberjanes’ #74

by James Ferguson


Summer is coming to an end but one big adventure looms.


Summer is coming to an end, but the adventures are not quite through. The campers of Roanoke cabin are tying up loose ends and saying goodbyes. As a dark force rises in the woods near the camp, they’ll have to come together for their biggest quest yet.

Let’s get this out of the way first. I am devastated that Lumberjanes is ending. This has consistently been such a great comic with every single issue and graphic novel. It’s something everyone can enjoy too. It’s just fun. That being said, it’s clear something big is lining up to close the series out. We’ve seen rumblings of something dark and sinister deep within the woods and Lumberajnes #74 has this entity revealed in all its glory.
While Lumberjanes has always been a light-hearted comic, there are times like these where it dips its toe into the horror genre. Depending on how this goes, it could get really spooky. Artist Kat Leyh makes this scary, but not too scary. It’s just the right amount to drive home the eerie power of this creature in the woods.

I know I’m talking a lot about this big bad that’s coming out, but in reality, it’s a small portion of Lumberjanes #74. The bulk of this issue serves as closure for the campers and for us in turn. We get so many great moments – and some tearful ones – that are so full of heart. Some have been building forever, like a perfect day for Mal and Molly that captures the beauty of their relationship. Others serve as a step in growing up, like Ripley saying goodbye to her dinosaur friend.
Writers Shannon Watters and Kat Leyh fill this book with a swell of emotion. You feel each and every beat. When Mal is disappointed that she couldn’t create a lavish show for Molly, you fully understand how she’s feeling and what she’s going through.

Letterer Aubrey Aiese amplifies each of these feelings with proper case dialogue. The font used is perfect and is often used to express additional emotion.
Much of the enjoyment of Lumberjanes comes from its warm and welcoming nature. Colorist Maarta Laiho paints a beautiful palette in this book. It perfectly balances the fun and exciting aspects of the story and the adventures the campers are getting into with the heavy weight of the summer’s end. Sure, they have these moments of happiness, but they’re numbered. It’s bittersweet.

Again, while I’m sad that Lumberjanes is ending, it’s clear we’re in for a treat with its impending finale. This comic is just as fun and enjoyable as it was when it started. It’s a special book that should be read by everyone. Comics like this are rare and it’s an absolute delight that we’ve had this for this long.
Lumberjanes #74 from BOOM! Studios is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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