Lumberjanes: A Midsummer Night’s Scheme #1
Nicole Andelfinger, Brittney Williams (Writers), Maddi Gonzalez, Brittney Williams (Artists), Ariana Maher (Letterer)
August 8, 2018
I’ve been a longtime fan of the breezy, sweet, and funny Lumberjanes series, so I was quite delighted to get my hands on their latest special edition comic: A Midsummer Night’s Scheme #1.
In the titular story, written by Nicole Andelfinger and illustrated by Maddi Gonzalez, a decorating disaster ruins Mal and Molly’s costumes for the Midsummer’s Eve Masquerade and spatters the cabin with glitter. Mal and April break out into a costumes-versus-decorations fight that splits the Lumberjanes into two groups in a competition for the ages! Mal and Molly try to muddle their way through conflict over what they’ll be wearing to the Masquerade (Mal surprised Molly with a couple’s costume, and Molly didn’t like not being consulted on the subject), but soon find themselves chasing Bubbles into the woods to retrieve a top hat.
Meanwhile, April, Jo, and Ripley try to think of a way to decorate the cabins, and April decides to use a special length of ribbon, but it too is spirited away from the camp. Soon lots of other things turn up missing, and right from under the Lumberjane’s noses. When the perpetrators are found, it’s up to everyone to figure out how to share with the thieves or whether they should argue to get their stuff back.
In the second story, “A Pondering Mystery,” Jo, April, Mal, Jen, and Molly try to figure out what happened to Ripley when she cannon-balled into a pond and failed to surface. They discuss the theory that she’d found a portal to a whole new dimension, but whether that’s proven or disproven, you’ll have to read the story to find out!
One can never go wrong with the fun-for-everyone stories that run under the Lumberjanes banner, and this special issue is no exception to the rule. This issue turns out to be a real showcase for Molly, who gets to speak out and be a problem solver. Her relationship with Mal is still cute and growing nicely. Everyone else gets a moment to shine, too, and the resolution to each mystery is amusing and delightful.
Of the two stories, I preferred “A Midsummer Night’s Scheme.” It’s more story-based and a little funnier, with a lot more weighty character bits to it. Fans of Ripley and Jen will likely adore “A Pondering Mystery” much more. I should add that the second story, written and drawn by Brittney Williams, doesn’t skimp on humor or wonder either, and provides a fine additional tale.
The lively art as always leaps right on off of the page, and the humor is electric, sweet, and funny as heck. The panels depicting Ripley’s deep dive into the pond are particularly stunning, with beautiful sea-green inks.
Lumberjanes: A Midsummer Night’s Scheme‘s sweet summer camp stories entertained thirty-eight-year-old me, and will likely entertain anyone from sixty to three.