Boom! Box 2019
Written by Seanan McGuire
Illustrated by Alexa Bosy
Lettered by Ariana Maher
Weather Woes Written & Illustrated by Mari Costa
When Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley stumble upon several muddy, spiky, cactus kittens in the woods, they take on the sacred mission of bringing the kittens back to their home. However, when they reach the garden menageries and its Dryad tender, they find that there is a deeper problem at the heart of the garden—and the Roanokes are the only ones who can help!
The only other time I have read the Lumberjanes was with the Gotham Academy Crossover. So this is pretty much brand new to me. I have to say what Seanan is doing with the story here is one that makes me want to see more of their adventures. I do wish this had come with some sort of roll call type in the credits so I knew who was who lol. The opening here is perfectly done however, as we see the girls in their cabin while it’s raining. If you have ever been to camp and been stuck in the cabin all day since all activities are cancelled then you can totally relate and understand what the girls are going through. This kind of stir-crazy usually leads to bad decisions at the very least.
What this does for us is allow Seanan to lay down some really nice characterisation as the girls talk and go over all the mundane stuff they could be doing, wanting to be doing and wishing they were doing. Also it really highlights kids today and the wide range of “types” of personalities we see and who should really be on some Ritalin. Before any decisions can be made of course things are taken out of their control as Bubbles, Molly’s pet racoon, escapes the cabin in dramatic fashion setting the girls off on their new adventure.
The way this book is structured is extremely well done. I love how the flow feels natural and effortless as if this is exactly what happened and it wasn’t Seanan’s decision to take them there. I will say Bubbles being there reminds me of the old Hanna Barbera cartoons like Scooby, Josie and the Pussycats, Speed Buggy, all those that had the animal members (or car as the case may be). Usually said animal was both cause and hero in the adventures and I love that about this in these pages.
The all-ages interior artwork and how we see the animals and the girls also lend that air of a cartoon to the book making the connection leap extremely easy for me. It also makes this book as cute as can be and actually incredibly delightful. It helps with the imagination and creativity aspect and in how it’s all brought to life. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a very good eye for storytelling. In stories like this the way we see the backgrounds being utilised is important and it not only enhances the moments, brings a sense of size and scope to the book but it allows the reader to experience this in a full technicolour mode. The colours too are amazing in how they represent the kids, the garden the various shall we say crytpobotanical creatures.
I adored reading this issue. The story is amazingly simple and yet delightfully offbeat and complex all that the same time. The girls have their own feelings, ways of being and how they approach the situations and all of that is showcased beautifully. The more all-ages books I read the more I value what they represent and that adults need to get over the fact that they are all-ages and get to reading. Just because we reach a certain age doesn’t mean we can’t be reminded about a thing or two about being friends and treating one another. This is well worth your time, read it, pass it along to the next and if you have kids let them read it and you’ve got dinner table conversation topic.