LUMBERJANES: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S SCHEME by Nicole Andelfinger and Maddi Gonzalez
LUMBERJANES: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S SCHEME is full of heart and fun. The art is impeccable and celebrates exactly what it is I've come to love about the LUMBERJANES comics. The writing and characters are so true to the classic LUMBERJANES stories, even some 50+ issues in.
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LUMBERJANES is one of the best comics for kids available right now. The one-shots that come out a couple of times a year, including LUMBERJANES: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S SCHEME, are no exception. In MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S SCHEME, the camp throws a dance and offers a trophy for the Best in Show among the cabins. The Lumberjanes are a competitive bunch – so what happens when they all have different ideas for how to win the trophy?

Image courtesy of BOOM! Studios.


MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S SCHEME starts as many other LUMBERJANES issues start – something explodes. The Lumberjanes are trying to set up their cabin and their costumes for the masquerade later. April and Ripley are the center of a glitter explosion, covering everyone nearby (including Bubbles the Raccoon) and the cabin. It also ruins Mal and Molly’s costumes, revealing that Molly has no real interest in the “obvious couples costume.”

After Jen comes by and asks what in the world is going on, the Lumberjanes devolve into chaos. April argues that the décor will be what wins the Lumberjanes the Best in Show award. Mal feels the costumes are what will win them the prize. Jo thinks the key is to make décor and costume work together; having a cohesive theme all around will help them bring home the trophy. The fight separates the friends into three groups, each more intent on their own way of doing things.

Image courtesy of BOOM! Studios.

While they’re all separated, little balls of light appear, stealing things from everyone around the camp. Bubbles the Raccoon chases after the lights. But it’s not until Jo takes on the investigation that we learn the balls of light are actually fairies. The fairy that Bubbles holds in his mouth is named Puck, the official messenger to the fairy court. He leads the Lumberjanes to the other fairies, who, amusingly enough, are having the same issues the Lumberjanes are. After finding the fairies with all of the stolen stuff from the camp, Molly steps up to save the day.

Some True-to-Lumberjanes Stories

The backup story by Brittney Williams in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S SCHEME is also wonderful, starting out with Jo diving in a pond to find a missing Ripley. They end up finding a cave, a new secret hide-out, and it is a vision of, as the Lumberjanes say, “Friendship to the MAX!”

Both of these stories are light-hearted and full of fun without being completely devoid of meaning. There’s so much heart, which is the greatest part of the LUMBERJANES comic if you ask me. Another great thing: neither of these stories require much previous knowledge. So if you want to start reading the LUMBERJANES stories, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S SCHEME is a perfect jumping off point.

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A Clear Picture of the Lumberjanes

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S SCHEME is such a perfect display of the different personalities that make up the Lumberjanes. They’re individual, which definitely shows in the arguing, but they also have really great ideas and the ability to work well together. By the end of the issue, we see not only that these girls are more than what they show on the surface, but that they have the ability to grow and change. They’re complete, three-dimensional characters. Nicole Andelfinger has a wonderful control over the whole cast.

That’s something that I’ve found to be one of the best things about the LUMBERJANES series as a whole. There have been so many guest writers and artists or things changing hands as time goes by, yet there hasn’t been a miss yet when it comes to how these characters are written. That’s the sign not only of a good writer but of a good character. It’s a sign that this series has staying power as well.

At the same time, the characters grow too. Molly breaks out of her quietness and saves the day by helping everyone work together. Mal and April and Jo learn to be a team. Ripley is Ripley no matter what. And in the end, they all come together to put on the best dance, because with the Lumberjanes, it’s always “Friendship to the MAX!”

Image courtesy of BOOM! Studios.

The Heart is in the Art

The art in both the main story by Maddi Gonzalez and the backup story by Brittney Williams is impeccable. There’s just so much fun in both of them, especially with the extreme facial expressions from time to time. It definitely feels like there’s some manga influence here, and I’m always a big fan of that. It contributes to the whimsicality of the art in both of these stories, which lends to the light-hearted nature of the Lumberjanes.

I’m also a huge fan of the character diversity as well. In the main story, we can see girls from the other cabins, and none of them look the same. It’s something that I think is easy to overlook, but that’s part of the heart of LUMBERJANES – people of all types are welcome here. To have that depicted so clearly from the first page of the story is truly heart-warming.


Final Thoughts

LUMBERJANES: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S SCHEME feels like a classic LUMBERJANES story, filled with fun, misunderstandings, and solutions. It’s a perfect example of why LUMBERJANES is definitely one of the best comics for kids on the stands today. The characters are well-rounded, the art is spot-on, and the stories are full of weirdness and magic and all the awesomeness of camp life. It’s definitely worth a read, and a great starting off point if this is your first foray into the world of the Lumberjanes. I highly recommend it.

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