A Complex Compass For Lumberjanes Ladies
Jul 12, 2018
by Vince Brusio
Lumberjanes fans are about to get a new dose of this relationship-driven series as writer Lilah Sturges, artist Polterink, and Senior Editor Dafna Pleban take the series forward in graphic novel format with BOOM! Studios’ Lumberjanes Original Graphic Novel Volume 1: Infernal Compass (JUN181213). Read about changes on the horizon for Molly, Mal, and the rest of the crew in this PREVIEWSworld Exclusive interview.
Vince Brusio: Why was the graphic novel format chosen rather than have this story serialized in the ongoing Lumberjanes comic book?
Dafna Pleban: The single issue format really lends itself to action and adventure, and we really wanted to take the opportunity with the graphic novel format to spend time between all that as well. We really wanted to approach this Lumberjanes story in a way we never had an opportunity before. The graphic novel format lets us sit with the characters and their emotions longer, and since Lumberjanes is such a relationship-driven series, the graphic novel format really let us focus in on what we love about the world in a more languid way.
Vince Brusio: What’s implied by the series title, “The Infernal Compass”?
Lilah Sturges: The title is a play on the term “internal compass” obviously, and it’s talking about both an actual magical compass that plays a big part in the story, and also about what happens when your own internal sense of what you ought to do gets led astray.
Vince Brusio: Molly and Mal seem to be faced with a barrier of sorts. Their relationship seems to be a source of contention for the other girls. While this conundrum appears to be at the heart of the story, it’s also an issue that’s timeless, as its roots extend into bi-racial relationships as well. Is this or other comparisons implied or expressed as social messages in this book? To what degree?
Lilah Sturges: It’s not so much that their relationship is a source of contention for the other girls, but rather about Molly’s fear that the relationship may be more than the group can handle. She’s very worried that her feelings for Molly will affect the group as a whole, and that group means the world to her, since (like Alexander Hamilton) she’s never had a group of friends before.
Polterink: It’s very important to me to make sure I properly convey how much the girls mean to each other, as well as their nuanced relationships through the art. Mal and Molly especially have such a sweet, blossoming relationship they both still feel unsure about. And both Lilah and I take great care in doing it justice, I think.
Vince Brusio: Can readers expect a new trail to be traveled in this book? Or does “The Infernal Compass” fit into the ongoing Lumberjanes continuity?
Lilah Sturges: The story takes place in the existing Lumberjanes continuity, and to imply that there’s any alternative to that is akin to saying that the world of Lumberjanes isn’t real, and I won’t hear of it.
Vince Brusio: How did you move the needle for the fun factor on this book? How did you make it a page-turner?
Lilah Sturges: Like any Lumberjanes story, there’s danger, adventure, and a mystery at the heart of the story begging to be solved. There’s also a real sense of danger as the effects of the compass begin to add up. Of course, there’s also a lot of humor, in the form of some very polite robot butlers who are doing their best.
Polterink: The very different art style is definitely an interesting hook for this graphic novel as well. So far, we’ve had the traditional full-color comics in the series, but this time around it’s in black and white, with only limited color to emphasize certain aspects. I hope that this different approach will be a fun new way to experience the Lumberjanes universe.
Vince Brusio writes about comics, and writes comics. He is the long-serving Editor of PREVIEWSworld.com, the creator of PUSSYCATS, and encourages everyone to keep the faith...and keep reading comics.