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What the Junk: Lumberjanes #8

Jenn Northington

Director, Editorial Operations

Jenn Northington has worked in the publishing industry wearing various hats since 2004, including bookseller and events director, and is currently Director of Editorial Operations at Riot New Media Group. You can hear her on the SFF Yeah! podcast nerding out about sci-fi and fantasy. When she’s not working, she’s most likely gardening, running, or (obviously) reading. Find her on Tumblr at jennIRL and Instagram at iamjennIRL.

Friendship to the Max: it’s not just a slogan, it’s a lifestyle. The pages of Lumberjanes contain mysteries upon mysteries and references upon references, and our goal here at What the Junk is to decode at least a few and gather clues along the way. And to freak the hell out about Issue #8.

art by Brooke Allen

art by Brooke Allen

Sorrowful Niobe: Y’all, Stevenson and Ellis are killing it with the mythology references. Niobe isn’t just some woman who was turned to stone; she was a woman who was turned to stone for having more children than Leto, the mother of Apollo and Artemis — and making the mistake of pointing it out. First Apollo and Artemis killed all her children, then she was turned into a weeping stone on top of a mountain. If we needed any further evidence that neither Apollo nor Artemis should get Phenomenal Cosmic Power, this is surely it.

What the Annie Smith Peck: Annie Smith Peck was a record-setting mountain climber born in 1850. She was also a classical scholar who knew Greek and Latin, a suffragist, and an unmarried woman who led her own expeditions. She has a mountain named after her in Peruo (Cumbre Ana Peck), she lectured and published four books, she climbed in pants (scandalous!), and was the first woman to attend the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. Annie Smith Peck, we salute you!

We’ve made a huge mistake: It’s ok, April. Gob Bluth (of Arrested Development) is way ahead of you.

Zeus … the Cool-Dad Cow?: Zeus, king of the Greek gods, is also frequently known as a bull. It was one of his symbols (along with the thunderbolt, eagle, and oak), and he turned into one in order to abduct Europa, the Cretan moon goddess. Let’s just hope he wasn’t on his way to kidnap anyone when he got the call from Rosie. But perhaps he’s mellowed a bit; certainly he has watched Mean Girls one too many times.

I don’t know about you, campers, but I could not imagine a more satisfying ending to the current storyline. We got: a demonstration of the true power of friendship; Jen as devious genius; Bubbles’s fancy new hat; a big ol’ smooch; the most amazing Ripley fastball; the promise of a special next issue; and EVERYONE GOT A KITTEN.*

We still don’t know exactly who Jo is, but I’m content to wait — as long as that’s the subject of the next story arc!

*Am I the only one wondering how literal the cosmic wish-granting power was? Did everyone-everyone get a kitten? Because I can’t stop imagining the Kittenpocalypse. Mourners at a funeral: kittens. Kids on a field trip: kittens. Someone at home with the flu: kitten! The U.N., mid-session: KITTENS.