Monday, 16 July 2018

Lumberjanes: Bonus Tracks

Lumberjanes: Bonus Tracks is the collected volume of Lumberjanes one-shot special issues. I didn't really know what to expect when I picked this book up. I bought it because it (and Volume 4 of the main story) were what was available in the comic book shop. I'm glad I did grab this book, though, as it exceeded my expectations.

The Lumberjanes short stories collected for the first time in paperback!

Join April, Jo, Mal, Molly and Ripley as they explore their all-girls camp. From ghost ponies to strange plants, these Lumberjanes are ready to take on anything that comes their way as long as they have each other.

Once I overcame the slight weirdness of seeing different artists draw familiar characters in slightly different ways — exacerbated by the fact that I had just read one of the regular volumes — I really enjoyed the short stories presented here. This volume contains five stories written and illustrated by different creators. Each is a self-contained story and they don't require very much prior knowledge of the series except for the general setting. I think there were a couple of very minor references to events in Lumberjanes issues I haven't read, but the plot certainly didn't hinge on them.

It's not a terrible sampler to get an idea of whether you want to read more Lumberjanes, even if the writers are not the regulars. That said, I think readers will get a little bit more enjoyment out of Bonus Tracks if they've read a bit of Lumberjanes before, since these stories do none of the work of establishing setting or character (which makes sense, given the context). I don't want to say much about the content of the stories since they're so short it would feel like spoilers; I think the blurb says enough. However, I will note that my favourite story was the one written by Holly Black, "Faire and Square", but it was a very close race between all of them.

I highly recommend this volume to fans of Lumberjanes. As far as I can tell, it can be inserted anywhere in your Lumberjanes journey and still be enjoyable.

4.5 / 5 stars

First published: 2018 (for the collected volume), Boom! Studios
Series: Lumberjanes, non-series one-shots
Format read: Trade paperback
Source: Local comic book shop

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