Book Review – Lumberjanes/Gotham Academy #1

  • Title: Lumberjanes/Gotham Academy #1
  • Author: Chynna Clugston Flores
  • Artist: Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, Maddi Gonzalez, Kelly & Nichole Matthews, Jenna Ayoub, Whitney Cogar, Warren Montgomery
  • Characters: Olive Silverlock, Maps
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Publisher: DC Comics, Boom Box Comics
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 03/18/2017

Lumberjanes/Gotham Academy is a crossover between these two young adult graphic novels series. I’ve recently been reading and greatly enjoying Gotham Academy but I’m not familiar with Lumberjanes prior to reading this story. Gotham Academy is, of course, a slightly creepy private school in Gotham, that gives a second chance to reformed villains and gives a chance to be normal to the children of Gotham’s villains. Our characters remind me of a well-written Scooby Doo story – they solve mysteries that often have a supernatural bent. The Lumberjanes are a group of girls at summer camp who also solve mysteries. When Professor MacPherson goes missing from Gotham Academy under mysterious circumstances, and Rosie, the Lumberjanes camp director also disappears – it’s time for a crossover mystery.

The Lumberjanes and our familiar crew from Gotham Academy are soon working together to find their missing people. Soon Jen, the camp leader is also missing, sacrificing herself to “monsters” so the Janes and Academy students can get away.

The Janes and the Academy students work together to find and rescue their teacher, camp counselor, and camp director. Meanwhile, those three find themselves in a Brigadoon-type cabin, a mansion in the woods belonging to a spoiled rich girl and her family. Inside the cabin, it’s always 1986. The women, now looking and dressed like teenagers, slowly realize what’s happened. Louise had been friends with the girls at Gotham Academy – but when her family came in to money, she become a spoiled, self-centered brat – who nevertheless was at the top of the school’s social ladder. When Louise invites everyone to her Sweet 16 birthday party at her family’s cabin, the students decide to teach her a lesson – and no one shows-up. This breaks Louise – she suffers a breakdown. Her magic-practicing parents, place her under a spell – keeping her young, and experiencing the same Summer over and over again for 30-years (without the heartbreak of the disastrous party).

It’s like a ghost story, but with a living person. Not only do the current Gotham Academy students and Lumberjanes, but their counselor, teacher, and camp director must actually give Louise the party she wants and convince her to actually live her life without fear of change.

I really enjoyed this graphic novel – there’s a lot of humor and fun; the characters are bright and compassionate; the art is excellent and fits the feel of a teen book, and the mystery – though somewhat easy to figure out has a good point to it. It’s a story about being yourself, and I liked that. Highly recommended.

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