Lumberjanes is one of the most entertaining, fun, and well-written comic books going. The latest offering from the title, a stand-alone graphic novel, The Infernal Compass, written by Lilah Sturges with art by Polterink, is true to the name and is well worth the purchase price.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Lumberjanes, it is about the young ladies who attend Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady-Types. The camp is situated in a forest inhabited by hipster yetis, selkies, a bear-woman, unicorns, gorgons, and so much more.
While most of the Lumberjane scouts want to have a relatively normal camp experience, the members of Roanoke cabin always seem to be involved when anything unusual or downright bizarre occurs. These five are Jo – the scientist, and the only one who got to pick her own name; April – small, but with super-April strength; Ripley – the youngest Roanoke, possessed with nigh unlimited enthusiasm; and Mal and Molly, whose romantic relationship forms the theme of Infernal Compass as well as the plot.
At the story’s start, Mal and Molly are alone in the cabin, reading from the same book together in bed. Subtle cues in the art, such as a faint blush, show how much these two like each other. The girls and their cabinmates are brought together by Jen, their counselor, who introduces them to an orienteering exercise. Everyone gets a compass, except Molly’s points in a different direction. Out in the woods, various automatons kidnap Jen and the girls until only Molly remains. She learns that her compass, directed by fears that her relationship with Mal, might distance them from their other friends, is responsible. Molly is left to figure out a way to reconcile her insecurities and reunite with Mal and her friends.
BTW there is NO hint that the other Roanokes don’t find Mal and Molly adorable. One of the cutest scenes of the book is when they are thinking of a relationship name – I thought Malolly was a given, but apparently they like MalMol.
Lilah Sturges does a nice job creating the atmosphere of a Lumberjanes story and in a short time giving even a new reader a feel for the five Roanoakes. Commendable as, I believe this is Ms. Sturges’ first time writing for Lumberjanes.
As a bonus, the first issue of Lumberjanes is reprinted at the end of Infernal Compass!
Lumberjanes, The Infernal Compass, BOOM! Box, October 2018 $14.99 US