Graphic Novel Review: Lumberjanes, Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy

Lumberjanes Vol 1Details:

Title: Lumberjanes: Beware the Kitten Holy

Volume: 1

Issue(s): 1-4

Publisher: Boom! Studios

Creator(s): Shannon Watters, Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis

Writer(s): Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis

Illustrator: Brooke Allen

Colors: Maarta Laiho

Letters: Aubrey Aiese

Released Date: April 7, 2015

Genre: Middle Reader, Action, Adventure, Paranormal, Friendship, Mystery

Synopsis:

FRIENDSHIP TO THE MAX!

At Miss Qiunzilla Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s camp for hard-core lady-types, things are not what they seem. Three-eyed foxes. Secret caves. Anagrams. Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are five rad, butt-kicking best pals determined to have an awesome summer together… And they’re not gonna let a magical quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! The mystery keeps getting bigger, and it all begins here.

First Thought:

It was the cover that drew me in. It looked like a mash-up between Gravity Falls from Disney and Adventure Time from Cartoon Network, granted I like the former way more than the latter but I wanted to give this a try. I was also intrigued by a cast of girls of different ages and personalities appearing as best friends in a camp for girls.

Overall Thoughts and Opinions:

First, I have to say that I love the setup, treating each chapter as a chapter in the Lumberjane’s Field Manual. At the beginning of each chapter (issue) there’s a little excerpt from this field manual describing a badge that is either gained by the girls or used by the girls within that chapter. The idea is clever and it allows the reader to guess what is to come in the chapter.

Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley were an interesting group of individuals. Each girl had her own personality and was easy to distinguish from each other. Jo is the boyish mathematician and Ripley is the youngest, and silliest of the bunch. April is the girliest of the group, constantly updating her diary. Mal is the punk, while Molly is the tomboy.  The minor characters were also pretty cool, especially their camp counselor, Jenny, and the camp director, Rosie, who were wonderful in their brief appearances. The design of each character definitely aided to their personalities, and I enjoyed the unique detailing of each one.

Now, let’s talk art. Some people have complained that the art style was too messy for them. Honestly, I rather enjoyed the art style, yes, it was messy but I feel like it added to the story. During the most thrilling or dangerous moments the art was the messiest, adding to the adrenaline rush of the characters, like when an author constructs their sentences more loosely in a similar situation in their story. I will say that the art style didn’t necessarily match up to what was on cover, but that’s because the artist of the cover was different than the main artist of the actual story. Yes, that’s a little aggravating, but I have seen it done elsewhere too, no need to whine about it.

As for the story, at first glance it appears that each chapter is an unrelated adventure. However, if you look closely, you can see the beginnings of a plot start to come together, especially in the last two chapters. A few people have complained about there not being enough plot, which I can understand, but this volume leaves a lot of room for the writers to branch out. I’m sure that there will be backstory to read in later issues to come and more story heavy issues later. For a first volume, I believe that this was a fine attempt at trying to draw people in.

Final Thoughts:

As a whole, I really liked Beware the Kitten Holy. If you don’t mind the messy, simple art style or the loose storytelling that isn’t heavy on plot, then this story is for you. If you enjoy a group of diverse girls in personality and skills, then this story is for you, especially if you like independent, go-getting young girls. If not to any of these, then this story may not be one of your favorites or well-liked.

Ratings:

Art: 4

While not the best art I have seen in a while, I definitely like it. The style has a sort of professional child-like appearance that I believe makes the story seem more kid-friendly than serious.

Story: 3.5

The story is a little hard to see at first, especially if you are not used to reading comics. Each chapter acts not quite like standalone adventures, but from the outside they appear that way. Towards the end you can see some of the things from the earlier chapters come together, and if you look close enough you can find the loose beginnings of a plot come together that will probably be addressed more in the later issues.

Overall: 4

Technically, the average was 3.75 but I felt like rounding up because I really enjoyed this graphic novel and I would definitely recommended it to people. If you’re looking for a graphic novel to start your young daughter with then I think I’ve got the one for you!

Related Material:

COMING SOON!

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