I need you to stop everything you’re doing right now because things are about to take a turn, and in the end, only the strongest bibliophiles will be left standing.
I’d been meaning to start the Lumberjanes comics since they came out in 2014 because a couple I worked with — one, an amazing photographer; the other, an incredible producer/magician — had inspired characters within the series. But, like a person whose bookshelf is constantly in a state of overpopulation, the series evaded my book list until May. After moving to New York, I was walking down Bergen Street one afternoon, and right there in my local comic book store window was the Lumberjanes displayed for every bibliophile in town to have a look at. It was just a sign, so I bought it right then and there.
(Yes, my neighborhood is much hipper than me and has an actual comic book store only 45 seconds away. It’s one of my favorite parts of this place.)
Lumberjanes revolves around the adventures of five best friends — Jo, April, Ripley, Mal, and Molly — who set out to solve the mysteries of the supernatural occurrences plaguing their summer camp, Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. From code breaking to high kicks, each of the girls brings their own learned skill to the group which in total, makes them an unstoppable, hilarious, and slightly off-balanced unit. And the artwork! I want to frame these comic strips and hang them on my wall as a reminder to always approach life through the Lumberjanes motto.
I am excited that a piece of work such as this — that celebrates, rather than slanders strong female friendships — is around to empower every generation of women to come. It’s a shining example that women don’t need to fit into any certain box, but that it’s their differences that make them stronger as a whole. So if you have an upcoming birthday party, graduation, baby shower, going away party, christening, brisk, or any other sort of social gathering that requires a gift, buy a copy of Lumberjanes and be the most celebrated person in the room.
The second issue comes out in October so you have plenty of time to catch up in the mean time.
We can all thank this splendid find on RonLit, the adorable Booktuber who has really changed my graphic novel game for the better. “Chew” follows the story of Tony Chu, an FDA agent with a peculiar ability to receive psychic impressions from consuming things — including humans. Thus, Chu and his partner (I use that term loosely) use their “special skills” to get to the bottom of the bird flu conspiracy plaguing the U.S. black market. This series is fun and no spoilers BUT the ending plot twist did have me yelling, “What the WHAT?! Can no one be trusted in this world?!” While I have yet to finish the series yet, I can already tell, it’s going to be a favorite.
For other enthusiastic book reviews, join the book club here.