Monster Malaise Sets In in Lumberjanes 45

by Taylor Anderson

Lumberjanes 45

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

At this point, the Lumberjanes have encountered just about any type of weird monster/creature that you can dream up. They’ve faced giant stone statues, huge ravens, ghosts, and dinosaurs just to name a few. When all is said and done, there’s not really a whole lot of things the Janes haven’t faced. As the 45 issue of the series shows, this is beginning to take a tole on the Janes, and, in some ways, perhaps the creative team as well.

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The Seeds of Doubt in Judas 1

By Drew Baumgartner

Judas 1

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

In a religion built on redemption and forgiveness, one man had to sacrifice himself for everyone…and it wasn’t Jesus.

This text appears in the back of this issue, serving as a kind of tagline for the series. This might put it a bit too bluntly (I can almost hear the record scratch on that ellipsis), but the notion that Judas is the true victim of the story of his betrayal is an intriguing one. After all, if Jesus needed to suffer and die in order to redeem humanity, then he must have needed a betrayer — Judas is essential to our salvation. Moreover, while Jesus’s suffering was great, it was temporary, and was ultimately followed by eternal life in the kingdom of heaven. That seems a heck of a lot better than eternal damnation. That bitterness creeps in at the edges of Jeff Loveness and Jakub Rebelka’s Judas 1, but it’s really a manifestation of something much more profound: doubt. Continue reading

Lumberjanes 44 Isn’t Just For Kids

by Taylor Anderson

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Lumberjanes is ostensibly a comic geared towards a younger audience. The young protagonists, the summer camp setting, and the the fantasy elements all suggest a title that is purposely trying to engage young comic readers. There’s nothing wrong with that and in fact it’s vitally important to foster a love of comics in young people by making titles expressly for their consumption. However, as with all art, Lumberjanes frequently isn’t heralded as much a titles written for older audiences. But as issue 44 shows, there’s no reason why that should be the case.

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Mythology Bites in Lumberjanes 43

by Taylor Anderson

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

I recently read an article which argued the point that serialized tv is a “disease.” Perhaps a bit hyperbolic, but the author had a good point. In some cases, TV shows forgo quality in the name of developing mythology. My ever-treasured LOST was cited as a prime example of this, and I had a hard time disagreeing with it being so characterized, as I remembered scenes of a church filled with the dead spirits of the show’s main characters. This got me thinking: I’ve always treasured mythology building in my narratives, but does that mean its always good for the story or content? As if to answer this question, Lumberjanes 43 was published and the answer seems to be a mighty, no.

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The Woods 36: Discussion

by Spencer Irwin and Drew Baumgartner

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Spencer: Drew and I had the immense pleasure of chatting with The Woods artist Michael Dialynas at New York Comic Con a few weeks ago, and early in our conversation Dialynas caught me off guard by asking me how I wanted The Woods to wrap up. I like endings, and I like endings that surprise me, but I’ve also been following these characters for over three years now, so I answered, “Well, I just want a happy ending for everyone. Especially Isaac.” Dialynas proceeded to sign my comic with the words “I’m so sorry.”

Final issues are always about wrapping things up for beloved characters, but after that conversation, I especially approached The Woods 36 trying to figure out what kind of life each character could possibly live going forward. What kind of futures have Dialynas and writer James Tynion IV granted their creations?  Continue reading

Godshaper 6: Discussion

by Spencer Irwin and Drew Baumgartner

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

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Spencer: It’s a marvelous thing to watch a series come into focus — to reach that eureka moment where you finally get what a creator is trying to say, where a series’ message finally clicks. Simon Spurrier and Jonas Goonface’s Godshaper 6 has been one of those moments for me, a finale that brings all the themes the series has been exploring together in a satisfying, yet completely unexpected fashion. Continue reading

Time-Weirdness in Lumberjanes 42

by Taylor Anderson

Lumberjanes 42

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Time-travel has infatuated people for what seems like ages now. Back to the Future, Bill and Ted’s, and Edge of Tomorrow are just some of the many movies that have explored this subject. The fascination with time-travel probably speaks to our own insecurity about being unable to stop the inevitable march of time and its seemingly one-directional nature. Basically, that’s all just a fancy way of saying I totally empathize with Molly when she tried to slow down time in the last issue of Lumberjanes, but am also unsurprised that her actions now have ramifications in this month’s issue. Continue reading

Characters Take Time to Develop in Lumberjanes 41

by Taylor Anderson

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

After reading a comic book series for several years, it becomes hard for that title to surprise me much anymore. Obviously, there may be twists and turns to the plot that may be unexpected, but when it comes to the tone, themes, and the manner in which the content is delivered, I have a pretty good idea of how the creators will tell their story.  Lumberjanes is now into that territory where I know exactly what to expect each issue, however, issue 41 surprised me. The reason? It actually did something I don’t remember seeing in any Lumberjanes issue since its inception. Continue reading

Accepting or Rejecting our Personal Identities in Godshaper 5

by Spencer Irwin

This article will contain SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Our race, sexuality, or gender are usually major parts of our personal identities, but because of the prejudiced society we live in, they can also end up as impediments in life if we’re non-white, queer, or non-cis/non-male — essentially, if we don’t meet the status quo. In Simon Spurrier and Jonas Goonface’s Godshaper, being a shaper has always worked as a metaphor for all these “other” identities, which makes Ennay’s reaction to an offer of a god of his own — which would free him from the stigma of being a shaper — all the more interesting. Continue reading

The Spectacular Status Quo in Godshaper 4

by Ryan Desaulniers

This article will contain SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Godshaper weaves a tale of discrimination with gorgeous parallels to our current day within a new universe. Period. While parallels exist here between the “Dark Materials” series, the comic lives in its own plane, dealing with social issues in a novel, resonating way. While issue four does not break down any new walls in this series, the base-line for this comic is so consistent and lovely and revealing that I don’t even mind. Continue reading