Saturday, 23 April 2016

Lumberjanes Vol 3: A Terrible Plan by Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis

Lumberjanes Vol 3: A Terrible Plan written by Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis is, obviously, the third collected volume of Lumberjanes comics. It continues documenting the summer camp adventures of the core group of girls in a similar style to the earlier comics.

This New York Times Bestselling series continues with Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley as they take on everything that goes bump in the night. From scary stories to magical portals that lead to a land untouched by time, it's definitely not your average summer.

This volume opens with the Lumberjanes telling scary stories around a campfire, illustrated by various guests. After that anthology-like issue, the rest of the issues in the volume form a single story arc. Two of the girls go off for a picnic date, while the rest try to make productive use of their free day by earning "easy" badges. The two groups have their own separate adventures.

I actually enjoyed seeing the two separated girls, XXX, on their own because we got to know them better as individuals. In a large ensemble cast such as this, it's often hard to get a feel for individual characters, even if the creators have firm ideas about them, just because they get so little individual page-time to talk about themselves. So I quite enjoyed that aspect of the story.

I have realised the one thing I don't really like about Lumberjanes, though: the "field guide" excerpts at the start of each issue. They're kind of boring (why not try to make them funny?) and often in need of a bit more copy-editing. Once I came to that realisation (well, I'd noticed the copy-editing before), I started just skimming them with no adverse affect on my enjoyment of the actual comic parts of the comic. So there's that.

If you've read and enjoyed the earlier Lumberjanes comics, then definitely pick this one up. Because it's a self-contained story, I think it would mostly work as a standalone, but is still probably better read after the first two volumes. If nothing else, there are quite a few references to earlier events that might get confusing without that context. So if you haven't read any Lumberjanes before, I highly recommend it but suggest starting at the start.

4 / 5 stars

First published: April, Boom!
Series: Yes, Lumberjanes vol 3 of ongoing series, containing issues #9–12
Format read: Trade paperback
Source: My local(ish) comic book shop

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