In this special issue, two popular YA authors take a crack at the Lumberjanes universe. Is it good?
Writer: Holly Black, Gabby Rivera
Artist: Marina Julia
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
The main story is by one of my personal authors, Holly Black. She does a fantastic job of writing a perfect Lumberjanes story, working within a fantastical twist. The girls find a flyer for a medieval faire being held in their own woods. Jen of course is nervous, because the Lumberjanes woods are never what they seem. Everything seems normal, until they discover that the dragon in this medieval world is not made of paper mache.
Holly writes a wonderful story, with spot-on characterizations of all the Lumberjanes, and a great original character. I loved getting to see Molly excel at archery and having her and Rowena work together rather than fight to solve the problem, and I loved each girl getting her own moment of enjoying the faire in her way.
The art was lovely. Marina Julia’s style is a great match for the Janes, and it looked like she had a lot of fun exploring each of the girls’ personalities. Her bold coloring was a nice counterbalance to the softness of her line work.
The secondary story by Gabby Rivera is a very sweet tale of the power of imagination. Poor Riley is upset when her weekly letter from home doesn’t have the end of the storyline to her favorite telenovela that she watches with her abuela and sister. So the girls help her make up her own ending to the story that she sends home instead.
While this story doesn’t have a traditional Lumberjanes fantastical twist, I love that it shows the girls’ close relationships and the way to make the most of a disappointment and make it into a triumph. Rivera brings her culture to the story in a really fun way, and Gaby Epstein has a ton of fun with the over the top looks for the telenovela. Sweet but not saccharine.