Graphic Novelty²


Noelle Stevenson

Lumberjanes: Beware The Kitten Holy

Friendship to the MAX!

If you looked up “girl power” in the dictionary,  the cover of this graphic novel is what would show up. The Lumberjanes are a group of five girls who are attending a summer camp modeled after Girl Scouts. They are a diverse group- with a nice representation of body types, clothing styles, age and sexuality.

This is a magical realism tale, for the girls are immediately thrown into situations that have paranormal animals, and later they have an Indiana Jones type adventure. The girls aren’t fazed by any of it, although their older cabin leader doesn’t ever seem to see any of the creatures the girls do. But then there is the hip, tattooed camp director who seemed to be in on the mysteries.

Two of the five girls are a couple, and one girl seems gender fluid, but none of it is over emphasized. Instead it’s just a group of friends who work well together and always have each others back. Isn’t that we all should have in a friend group? The only complaint I have is that sometimes the dialogue is trying too hard. The girls love to throw famous people into their conversations as slang words- “What in the Joan Jett are you doing” and ” Good Juliette Gordon Low, we’re allowed to have something good happen once in awhile”. It was funny once, but then becomes too trite.

The author and co-creator of this story is Noelle Stevenson, who also wrote and illustrated the appealing Nimona. When I first read Nimona, Stevenson’s artwork was new to me. But as I have read more graphic novels in the last few years, I have noticed this cartoony hipster style is similar to the art work of Faith Erin Hicks, Emily Carroll and Molly Osertag. Although the illustrations are credited to Brooke Allen, the characters are so very Stevenson, that I’m thinking Allen had to draw based off the template that Stevenson designed. But the bold bright colors with a modern look will be a draw for young readers. And that’s why I picked it to read with the middle schoolers at my library for our next graphic novels book club. The story ends on a cliff hanger, and I and other readers will definitely want to read the next in the series to find out what adventures the Lumberjanes get into next!


Stevenson, Noelle, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters & Brooke Allen. Lumberjanes: Beware The Kitten Holy. 2015.


Awesome full color graphic novel that is filled with adventure, humor, pathos, and love!

Nimona, a shape shifter, appears unexpectedly to become the side kick of Lord Blackheart, the kingdom’s resident villain. Blackheart battles Sir Goldenloin, a former friend and kingdom champion, who isn’t as pure as a hero should be. Nimona’s back story appears murky and her motives and actions are very suspect. A shred of humanity remains in her, and she isn’t the monster that many take her to be, once the epic battle is fought and Blackheart’s and Goldenloin’s true hearts and feelings for one another are revealed. At the end you will be rooting for all of them to find happiness and peace. The conclusion is a mix of joy and sorrow, for some problems don’t always have an easy solution.

Stevenson’s artwork is is fresh and fun. Her characters are often caricature-like with exaggerated features or movements. I have to admit the noses on some characters were off putting, but that’s a small nitpick. The panels have big bold blocks of color in them, with not a lot of detail penciled in. But the aesthetic is pleasing, and her message shines through.

This is a great story for younger reader- it appears light, but actually is very deep and thought provoking. It also has a welcome LGTBQ  and girl power narrative that is important for youth to read. Highly recommended!


Stevenson, Noelle. Nimona, 2015.


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