If the group had a leader, it would be Jo, a clever world-class cynic with a strong sense of right and wrong. She would object to being called “bookish” because it’s not hardcore enough, but she reads a lot and seems to innately know things, especially concerning her hobby of stargazing. Her encyclopedic knowledge of the Lumberjane Handbook would make Hermione jealous, which is a skill that frequently comes in handy, especially when the gang needs a clever loophole to get themselves out of trouble or in identifying a new mysterious creature. She is also the first person to seriously question the larger purpose of the Lumberjanes. Steadfast and unflappable, the girls never have to doubt her conviction and confidence. That being said, Jo is certainly the most stubborn of the group, and her loyalty to her convictions sometimes come in conflict with her loyalty to her friends. She is very self-aware.
Jo is tall and lanky but naturally graceful in the way that middle schoolers who grow too fast adapt to be. She wears a lot of hoodies because her overbearing father wanted to make sure his daughter would have the means to stay warm on cold camp nights. Right before camp, she cut her hair to about chin=length, which annoys her to no end because she can’t tie it back in a ponytail so it is constantly in her face. Her nails have been painted black since the third grade and she chews them when she’s thinking, much to the annoyance of her best friend April.
On the face of it, April seems like the least likely of the group to attend a camp for hardcore lady-types because she is the most traditionally feminine: She keeps her hair long, she puts a substantial amount of effort into her appearance, and she spends a lot of time thinking about boys. However, April’s femininity is part of what her friends love about her. She experiences emotions very deeply and has no trouble empathizing with anyone. She is willing to put others’ interests before her own, writes “roses are red” style poetry, keeps a diary (which is important), and has a shameless and unironic love of teen pop music and a borderline obsession with a particular magazine in the vein of Rookie. Her girlishness is not seen as impractical or as a nuisance; it’s just who she is. She also has a reputation for being melodramatic and a little self-serving, and over time, she learns to be more daring.
Because she is the youngest (by six months), April hasn’t quite hit her growth spurt yet. The embodiment of “small but mighty,” she is by far the most physically strong of the group even though she doesn’t look it. While she prefers to keep her long hair down, she keeps two or three brightly colored hair ties around her wrist at all times to tie it back. If she had her way, April would always dress like the floral-pattern-loving hipster girls who run her favorite magazine. While she isn’t very self-aware sometimes, April has a strong sense of self that is reflected in how she dresses. Strength in femininity. Word up. Next!
Hey, tumblr! It’s halfway through the year now (how???) and I was looking through my book list and thinking that I have read so many good books this year, so I thought I would just throw my book list as it stands under a cut, with brief notes on the books in case anyone is interested! Or wants to talk about how awesome they are. Or even wants to recommend me some based on what I’ve read!
Or just tell me what you’ve been reading, if you do not want to deal with, um. A 90-item annotated list.
▪Everybody Sees the Ants by AS King
▪The Princess Saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace
▪Reindeer Boy by Cassandra Jean
▪Lumberjanes #1 by Noelle Stevenson
▪Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde
▪The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
▪The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
▪Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling
“Five best friends spending the summer at Lumberjane scout camp…defeating yetis, three-eyed wolves, and giant falcons…what’s not to love?!
Friendship to the max! Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley are five best pals determined to have an awesome summer together…and they’re not gonna let any insane quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way!”
Hardcore Lady-Types and Detective Club Members, we are SO CLOSE to the release of issue #1 of Lumberjanes/Gotham Academy, aka The Greatest Team-Up Ever!
As we enter the final stretch, let’s take a look at who we think would make the best team-ups. Do you agree? Have a different team-up in mind? Are just too excited to articulate it? (We understand, we really do.)
One trend that seems to exist only in comics as far as representation of trans characters is trans characters within media intended for young audiences. These title do not tend to come from the “big two” comic book companies (DC and Marvel) but from smaller publishers that prioritize family-friendly stories. But those characters that have been written by Marvel and DC have been in titles aimed at teens and young adults. But with these all-ages comics, trans characters are being introduced to children in way that allow people to understand.
One such all-ages trans character is Jo from the series Lumberjanes. Lumberjanes is a series about a group of girls at a girl scout style summer camp going and on adventures. Jo is a member of that group and her trans identity is only revealed as she references her time spent at the male scout camp.
Another example of trans representation is Blaze from Jem and the Holograms. Jem and the Holograms is a modern comic book retelling of the classic 80’s children’s cartoon. Blaze joins the rival band The Misfits after the original lead singer Pizzazz has a vocal cord injury and needs to be temporarily replaced. Much of Blaze’s plotline does come from her trans identity, but it is done with tact and respect. In addition, she was co-created by artist Sophie Campbell who is also a trans woman.
The importance of trans characters in an all ages comic is not to be overstated. Lumberjanes is a very popular comic that has won numerous awards and accolades and is set to become a movie at 20th Century Fox. Jem and the Holograms, while more niche, is based on a very popular children’s cartoon with an intense cult following and the comic itself is aimed at children. With both of these books showing that trans characters are just like everyone else in the story, trans people get to be shown in a way that doesn’t reduce them to genitals and prevents trans people from being “too adult for children to understand.”
LUMBERJANES/GOTHAM ACADEMY #1 (of 6) Retail Price: $3.99 Writer: Chynna Clugston-Flores Artist: Rosemary Valero-O'Connell Cover Artists: Main Cover: Mingjue Chen Connecting Subscription Cover: Kelly & Nichole Matthews Unlockable Incentive Cover: Chynna Clugston-Flores Incentive Cover: Leila Del Duca Incentive Cover: Karl KerschlBOOMBOX LJ GothamAcademy 001 A What’s to Love: We adore DC’s Gotham Academy and it’s been on our wish list to have them somehow meet the Lumberjanes. From the great characters to the fun stories, we saw a world in which these two groups could coexist. Fast forward and here we are—the crossover event we’ve dreamed about and can’t wait to bring to you! What It Is: Something sinister is happening at a mysterious building deep in the woods, drawing the Lumberjanes and the Gotham Academy kids separately to investigate. Is it a weird cabin? An abandoned asylum? The two groups band together to find out what exactly is going on. Featuring a connecting subscription cover by Kelly & Nichole Matthews (Toil and Trouble)!
For note, this seems to be published by Boom! Studios, not the DC(hence why it’s up before DC solicits), so for those who buy from DC-exclusive sources, they might not have it.
Publisher: BOOM! STUDIOS (W) Chynna Clugston-Flores (A) Rosemary Valero-O'Connell (CA)
Mingjue Helen Chen, Kelly Matthews, Nicole Matthews, Chynna Clugston
Flores, Leila Del Duca, Karl Kerschl, Brooke Allen, Veronica Fish,
Melane Tingdahl, Lissa Treiman, Carey Pietsch, Kat Leyh
to Love: We adore DC’s Gotham Academy and it’s been on our wish list to
have them somehow meet the Lumberjanes. From the great characters to
the fun stories, we saw a world in which these two groups could coexist.
Fast forward and here we are-the crossover event we’ve dreamed about
and can’t wait to bring to you!
What It Is: Something sinister
is happening at a mysterious building deep in the woods, drawing the
Lumberjanes and the Gotham Academy kids separately to investigate. Is it
a weird cabin? An abandoned asylum? The two groups band together to
find out what exactly is going on. Featuring a connecting subscription
cover by Brooke Allen!
‘Lumberjanes’ Trade Paperback Goes to Fifth Printing; Live-Action Movie Announced
Holy Mae Jemison! BOOM! Studios is thrilled to announce that the first four printings of the Lumberjanes Volume 1 trade paperback have sold out at the distributor level in just seven weeks of release. The publisher is rushing back to press for a fifth printing of the collection that debuted at #7 on The New York Times Best Sellers list for paperback graphic books. In total, over 65,000 copies of the trade paperback have been sold into comic book stores, bookstores, and book club fairs.
Adding fuel to this latest sellout, 20th Century Fox has optioned the film rights to Lumberjanes as a live-action movie. BOOM! Studios will produce the film, led by Founder and Chief Executive Officer Ross Richie (2 Guns) and President of Development Stephen Christy. Senior Vice President of Film Adam Yoelin (2 Night Stand) will co-produce.
The Eisner and GLAAD Media Award-nominated Lumberjanes was co-created by BOOM! Studios Editor Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, and New York Times Best Selling web cartoonist Noelle Stevenson (Nimona), with main series artist Brooke Allen (A Home For Mr. Easter). The series focuses on five, rad, butt-kicking best pals determined to have an awesome summer together…and they’re not going to let a magical quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! As part of BOOM!’s partnership model, the creators will share equally in all aspects of the publisher’s first-look deal with Fox.
“The entire team is excited for the opportunity to expose the comic to a wider audience and legions of young hardcore lady-types everywhere,” said Watters, Ellis, Stevenson, and Allen in a joint statement.
Stevenson added, “Read our book! They’re making a movie so it’s probably good, right?”
In searching for the ideal screenwriter for Lumberjanes, Producers Richie, Christy, and Yoelin went out to over 30 screenwriters before 20th Century Fox Senior Vice President of Development Kira Goldberg nominated Will Widger, screenwriter of The Munchkin, a highlight of the 2014 Black List, which details the best unproduced Hollywood screenplays every year. Goldberg bought the pitch and will develop the project for the studio working with Creative Executive Ryan Jones.
“I could not be more excited to start working on a Lumberjanes movie,” Richie said. “Shannon, Grace, Noelle, and Brooke have created a wonderful comic for everyone. Bringing a faithful adaptation to the screen and exposing even more potential fans to the amazing characters of Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley is something I can’t wait to dive into with the team at Fox.”
The Lumberjanes Volume 1 trade paperback will be back in print shortly and carries a retail price of $14.99 with a Diamond Code of FEB151172 and an ISBN of 978-1608866878.