Holy Mae Jemison! 'Lumberjanes' Co-Creator Noelle Stevenson Departs Book


As a true Lumberjumbie would say, "What the Joan Jett?"

It looks like Lumberjanes co-creator Noelle Stevenson won't be returning to Quinzilla Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's Camp for Hardcore Lady Types.

According to her Twitter feed, Stevenson will depart from the comic series after the completion of issue #17.

Originally intended to be a one-off story arc, the all-ages adventure comic follows the adventures of Roanoke cabin members Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley as they battle three-eyed foxes, grapple with Greek gods, take on white rapids, were-bears, sea monsters and more, all the while trying to score some scout badges and honor the bonds of true female friendship.

From imprint BOOM! Box's publication of its first issue, Lumberjanes has been considered a standout comic, due to its feminist, queer-friendly themes, and the rarity of it featuring an all-female line-up piloted by an all-female creative team, comprised of co-creators/writers Grace Ellis and Shannon Watters, and illustrated by artist Brooke A. Allen.

In an interview with A.V. Club last week before the announcement of her departure, Stevenson mulled over the connection between Lumberjanes' die-hard fanbase and its girl-centric story:

"[It's] not like male writers or male artists can't draw or write female characters, because that's not true, but at the same time, there are plenty of woman writers or artists out there that aren't getting employed as much as male writers or artists are and so we want to launch people who might not necessarily be discovered yet by the rest of the comic world. We want to be a place that can raise people up and bring them visibility and we want to be a place for women and gender non-performing people to really have that safe space and do what it is we want to do without trying to appeal to something else, some kind of idea of what comics should be or what comics are supposed to be. And that's what Lumberjanes is; I think that's important and what this book is."

To date, the series has been nominated for two Eisner Awards and one GLAAD Media Award.

Even though Stevenson's retirement from the series is certainly a blow for fans, it isn't entirely shocking: she has her hands full with her own comic/graphic novel Nimona, and writing for Marvel's Thor Annual and Runaways,  and Disney's TV series Wander Over Yonder. And as fellow Lumberjanes and co-creator Shannon Watters reiterated in a tweet:

If it's any consolation, it seems that Lumberjanes will be in good hands: Supercakes' Kat Leyh will be replacing Stevenson for the foreseeable future; additionally, it's been confirmed that 20th Century Fox is developing a live-action version of Lumberjanes for the big screen. And in a bittersweet, tender move, Stevenson posted some of her very first Lumberjanes sketches following her announcement.

Sidenote: if you haven't read Lumberjanes, you should do so immediately. In the words of one of my favorite vloggers Neil McNeil:Friendship to the max!

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