Title: Lumberjanes/Gotham Academy #1
Writer: Chynna Clugston Flores
Artist: Rosemary Valero-O'Connell
Release Date: June 8, 2016
Publisher: Boom Studios/DC Comics
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.
Lumberjanes/Gotham Academy #1 is a fun and mystery-filled matchup of mystery seekers and monster finders.
It's a quick jump into the story, into Gotham Academy's Olive Silverlock and Maps Mizoguchi, along with their friends, looking into the sudden disappearance of Professor MacPherson while the Lumberjanes head out into the woods to search for camp leader Rosie. And it's a quick jump into the action because soon they all fall into something a bit mysterious, as evidenced by the mysterious things they find in the forest. Story-wise, I think this crossover series will be good. Both series on their own have a fair number of similarities. Lots of things to investigate, lots of questions to ask and answers to find. Lots of clever, diverse, complicated characters. But because it's a limited series, I imagine it'll focus so much more on the plot than the characters themselves.
The artwork is bright and reminiscent of Lumberjanes, maybe not so much Gotham Academy. The latter is often serious and somber, the former more about friendship and support and fun. What appeals to me about Gotham Academy is mostly the art, is Karl Kerschl and Mingjue Helen Chen's different art styles. The art here by Rosemary Valero-O'Connell is still great, still clear and expressive and bright, thanks to the colours done by Whitney Cogar. It just makes me think more of the hijinks of Lumberjanes than the mysterys of Gotham Academy.
As a reader of Gotham Academy and an occasional reader of Lumberjanes (I've fallen behind, waiting for the trade volumes in order to catch up), I was excited when I heard about this six issue crossover. It's the coming together of two groups of clever teens who spend their days investigating the occult and the bizarre, of falling into trouble and rescuing their friends. If you're a fan of either series, I would suggest giving this a read, either now while the single issues are releasing (in print or online) or in March 2017 when the trade volume comes out. I'd recommend this to fans of both series, to hijinks and mystery fans, and to tweens and teens looking for something fun to read over the summer break. I would also suggest a read of at least the first trade volume of each series to new readers, just so you know who everyone is.
(I purchased a copy of this issue.)