Entertainment ‘Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power!’ all about empowering female friendships, creators say Author Mariko Tamaki and illustrator Brooklyn Allen discuss “Unicorn Power!” "Unicorn Power!" is based on the wildly popular "Lumberjane" comic series. Photo Credit: Abrams By Lisa L. Colangelo firstname.lastname@example.org Updated November 19, 2017 7:44 PM Print Share Share Tweet Share Email This is the camp you wish you’d gone to as a kid. Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types is full of mystery, fun and even unicorns. “Unicorn Power!” — the first-ever book based on the wildly popular comic book/graphic novel series “Lumberjanes” — features five female campers who are fiercely loyal friends with a healthy appetite for adventure. Jo, April, Molly, Mal and Ripley have captured the imagination of readers — young and old — since the comic debuted in 2014. Illustrator Brooklyn Allen, who created the series with Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis and Noelle Stevenson, said their original concept was “Girl Scout camp with monsters.” “The thing that everyone really wanted to focus on was empowering female friendships,” Allen told amNewYork during a recent interview. “No one is stabbing each other in the back.” Author Mariko Tamaki said she enjoyed the challenge of bringing the Lumberjanes characters and setting into a novel, which features illustrations by Allen. “I’m a huge fan of the comic books and loved all the characters,” said Tamaki, whose book “This One Summer” won a 2015 Caldecott honor. “Lumberjanes” has drawn acclaim for its girl power message, humor and diverse world of characters, including Jo, the group’s level-headed leader, who is a transgender girl. “It’s a very loving book,” Tamaki said. “All the characters care for each other very deeply and look out for each other, which I think is a really good example to set for younger readers.” The girls — who are roughly in their early teens — investigate spooky happenings (a woman turns into a bear) and make amazing discoveries (did I mention unicorns?). They also work hard to collect badges with hilarious tongue-planted-firmly-in-cheek titles. To earn the “May The Forge Be With You” badge, the campers must “discover the joys of metal smiting,” while a “View to a Kiln” badge focuses on the secret to creating pottery. The book also follows the graphic novel’s tradition of name-dropping famous women in exclamations such as “What the Cyndi Lauper!” or “Holy Julia Child, I’m starving!” There are three more books expected in the series and a “Lumberjanes” movie is in the works. Tamaki said the series shows female protagonists taking on external conflicts together, instead of focusing on internal drama. “It’s about you versus your surroundings and you versus your environment and having that be the challenge,” she said. “And passing by this idea that girls have to be spiteful to each other.” By Lisa L. Colangelo email@example.com Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Comments Comments section is temporarily on hold. Here’s why.