One of my favorite comics in this world is Lumberjanes, which might actually surprise some people. Typically I suggest a lot of darker and more mature reads, but this book is a fun and sweet tween read. All of the characters are technically within the tween age range, April even uses it in an argument with a sasquatch, which is not something you would see every day. At the Lumberjanes camp a group of five girls have been brought together as part of Roanoke cabin and their summer has been anything, but normal.
What is so fun about this series is that the Roanoke cabin girls find themselves drawn into some intensely dangerous situations involving supernatural creatures, mythical gods, and the emotional ups and downs of life and puberty. The main five are Jo, April, Molly, Mal, and Ripley and each of these girls has their own strong identity and personality. Jo is an inventor and a genius who happens to be trans and have two dads. This is all just casually revealed and no one ever makes a big deal about it. Jo even has a long conversation with a camper from a different camp about how you learn who you are and become comfortable with yourself. This moment is so strong and is not something you would expect from a comic full of monsters and punny mayhem. April and Jo are childhood friends and their dads are all friends. April is tough and intense and is super high achiever. Mal and Molly are a couple, which happens so organically. Mal is punk rock, but terrified of things that are happening around her. Molly has fallen in love with the camp and never wants to leave, especially since she doesn’t really feel like she fits in with her family. Ripley is the youngest and she is always down to have fun and goes wild whenever adventure is around.
The whole crew of characters get along so well and even if they run into issues with each other or a situation they are confronting, they take the time to talk it through. Each girl is always there for each other and they welcome new friends whenever they can. Barney, someone from a rival camp, determines that they want to be a Lumberjane and not a Scouting Lad. After they have a heart to heart with Jo and later prove themselves to the Grand Council they are allowed to become part of the Lumberjanes community. This exemplifies how open and inclusive this comic series is. There are adorable moments and so many sweet things about this series. I have read 10 volumes of the series and also read the illustrated book, The Infernal Compass. My favorite characters are Mal and Molly because I really feel connected to the two of them. Also who doesn’t want to have a real life raccoon hat named Bubbles that can help you out in a pinch. If you’ve never checked out Lumberjanes you can find it in physical copies as well as in digital formats on a variety of sites, including Hoopla.