Mini Reviews: Underwire, Gingerbread Girl, and Lumberjanes


I’m starting to find comics and graphic novels are a great pick-me-up, especially if I feel a reading slump coming on. Here are a few titles I’ve been reading on Scribd and comiXology:

UNDERWIRE by Jennifer Hayden
This is a collection of short autobiographical slice of life comics about being a woman and a mother of two. The art is kind of busy; black and white with lots of detail in the background made it hard for my eyes to decide what to focus on in each frame. Some of the comics were a little too random, but I found most of them to be insightful and relatable, especially when Hayden is interacting with her kids (the things she said versus the thoughts she kept to herself).

GINGERBREAD GIRL by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover
The illustrations in this graphic novel felt so familiar; reminiscent in style to the comics I remember from childhood.
I love how Annah is just herself. She’s kind of unlikable (she’s a tease and to be honest, sometimes a total jerk) but she’s certainly intriguing. I also liked that the characters sometimes break the fourth wall and speak directly to the reader. This is a strange story centered around a mystery: Does Annah actually have a long-lost twin sister named Ginger, or is Ginger is a figment of Annah’s imagination? This is the kind of weird that will keep you interested in her story.

LUMBERJANES by Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, and Brooke Allen
First off, the art here is gorgeous! Such vivid color, with each panel so detailed (yet not overwhelming) that I feel like I’m watching it. This series about a quirky scouting troop is funny, action-packed, and just plain fun! I feel like I now know what a good comic reading experience is and boy, the bar has been set high. When you see the “all ages” rating, you can trust it: My 5-year-old asks me to read these to her all.the.time. (She also wants the Lumberjanes badges for the back of her Girl Scout uniform). I love the positive message of diversity this series offers. The girls are not only unique (and healthy!) in appearance, but they differ in behavior and personality traits, too. From what I’ve read so far, these girls set great examples of how to get along with others who go about/react to things differently than you would. I also love that part of the scout pledge is “to pay attention and question the world around me.” Yes!

  • I guess I need to jump on the Lumberjanes boat after all!

  • I really need to just read Lumberjanes already. I don’t know how I keep putting it off!

  • Lindsey Stefan

    I’ve heard nothing but great things about Lumberjanes. The time is coming for me to read them!

  • I love Lumberjanes! I read it on Scribd, but ended up buying the first collected volume for my son – he was reading over my shoulder, but he prefers his comics in physical form.

  • Lumberjanes, hooray! Love that one, love the art, love the story, loooove. Underwire sounds like a fun bit of something I need in my life 😀

  • Gingerbread Girl sounds really good, to me, Monika! Thanks so much for sharing this!!

  • You know I love Lumberjanes, so I won’t rave on that one any further (even though I want to). I have Underwire waiting for me, too! Yay!

  • Although a lot of bloggers lately have been exploring graphic novels, I don’t feel any particular drive to diversify my reading in that way. Reading different formats and types of books doesn’t seem like a very important type of diversity to me. However… all of these graphic novels you all are exploring sound so good! And it does seem like you’re able to find some reading that is diverse in lots of other ways within the graphic novel category. For both of those reasons, I’m starting to consider giving it a try 🙂

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