The Art of the Start: Lumberjanes/Gotham Academy #1

This post originally appeared on Panels, which is now Book Riot Comics

lumberjanesgothamacademy

Cover Art: Minjue Helen Chen

 

I’ve always had an interest in media meant for those younger than myself. Perhaps it’s the sort of mama bear in me that wants kids to have things that they can really enjoy without it talking down to them. In college, I took classes about writing graphic novels and about writing stories for young audiences. Two books that I felt never talked down to kids, especially young girls, were Lumberjanes and Gotham Academy. So, it would only make sense that I hopped on this lovely crossover mini-series.

(BEWARE THE MINOR SPOILERS!)

We begin with Rosie, off in the woods, as she often is when she spots what might be Professor Macpherson inside a house. However, Rosie is quickly distracted by a supernatural creature and fires a flare in hopes that Jen will see it. Jen immediately is over come with worry, it seems that Rosie knew she was in trouble.

lumberjanes gotham academy 1

Writing: Chynna Clugton Flores, Pencils: Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, Ink: Maddi Gonzalez, Colors: Whitney Cogar, Letters: Warren Montgomery

Over at Gotham Academy, Maps wakes up an oversleeping Olive so she can turn in a late assignment to Professor Macpherson, however, she has gone missing. Upon further investigation the Detective Club decides that they need to do what it is that they do best and solve the mystery of their missing teacher. The Lumberjanes, easily reading the situation from Jen, also make the decision, with Jen’s approval of course, to go and find Rosie. So each of our precocious group of kids are on their way to find the adults they admire most. Inevitably they end up finding each other! Clugston Flores really captures her understanding of the characters in her writing and how they interact with each other.

lumberjanes gotham academy 2

Writing: Chynna Clugton Flores, Pencils: Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, Ink: Maddi Gonzalez, Colors: Whitney Cogar, Letters: Warren Montgomery

 

The art is done by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell on pencils, Maddi Gonzalez on inks, and Whitney Cogar on colors. For the Lumberjanes the art is incredibly on tone and on model. However, I found myself really missing the distinctive and detailed designs of the Gotham Academy kids. Where the simplicity was great for one group, I felt that it was a hindrance for the other. I can try to forgive it, however, if the series sustains a good synergy between both properties. So far, I love the kids together after they come face to face with the supernatural horror Rosie faced in the beginning. I particularly have a soft spot for Riley and Maps having the most beautiful budding friendship.

lumberjanes gotham academy 3

Writing: Chynna Clugton Flores, Pencils: Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, Ink: Maddi Gonzalez, Colors: Whitney Cogar, Letters: Warren Montgomery

 

If you’ve been reading both books, I highly suggest trying out this crossover. It might be a little confusing if you decide to read it and have only read one or the other, but hopefully that will just encourage you to try something new!

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