Score! For a person who ordinarily struggles with the format of graphic novels, this series is the max, adorbs, the bomb, rad, peachy keen.
(I honestly don’t know what kids say these days).
Anyway, I thought it was a more cohesive story, with great adventures in each issue. One of the things that was particularly enjoyable is that Counselor
Jamie, Joan, Juanita, Jedidah, Jen has been brought into the loop. Chapter Five, ‘Friendship to the Craft,’ starts with a nice, safe, crafting activity and I laughed to see a diagram for making a simple friendship bracelet, the number one best way to advertise you’ve been to camp. Of course, magic powered beasts appear, and a little crafting saves the day. Also has a great tribute to Jurassic Park and damsel-in-distress scenes.
Chapter Six is ‘Jail Break,’ a capture-the-flag game (another camp staple) that goes somewhat wrong, but we finally get an idea what’s behind the adventures the girls keep stumbling into. It has one of my favorite panels (literally a game) that made me laugh out loud, and an exclamation–“For the love of Sister Rosetta Tharpe” which–omg. How did I miss this guitar-playing singing virtuoso?
Chapter 7, ‘Friendship to the Max’, has a escapade with tribute to Mission Impossible and a cliff-hanger ending. Another camp staple: I remember performing our own Waterfront Mission Impossible skit which brought the house down. Chapter 8, ‘Space Jamborie,’ is about astronomy, anagram problem-solving and sibling rivalry with an ultimate bash that was thankfully mildly anti-climactic after all the ridiculous adventures earlier.
Overall, I thought it even better than the first collection, with improvement in storyline and visual arrangement. It took most of the book to get names straight, however–Jen and Ripley were referred to a lot, and Mal almost not at all. In this series, we see more from Jo, who has something hidden; Molly, who wears a secret in plain sight; and the effervescent Ripley. Jen gets a chance to test out her rule-breaking, and I love the moments she has with Rosie, Camp Director (and fab visual riff on Rosie the Riveter). There’s a little puppy-love kiss that has a nod to same-sex relationships. The collection edition has a set of cover pages done by different artists as well as an excerpt from another graphic novel centered on three college kids. Super-fun and entertaining. Can’t wait to see where new adventures go.