HBO Max is developing an animated adaptation of the fantasy comic book series Lumberjanes, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It will be written and executive produced by the comic’s creator, Noelle Stevenson (She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, Nimona), as confirmed by Stevenson herself on Twitter.
Ah it looks like the news is out! https://t.co/w81xZwiq4p
— Noelle Stevenson (@Gingerhazing) October 7, 2020
The Lumberjanes comic follows five friends at a summer camp “wailing on monsters and solving a mystery with the whole world at stake,” via the publisher’s official synopsis. In a Comics Alliance interview with Stevenson, her co-author Grace Ellis (Bravest Warriors, Lois Lane and the Friendship Challenge), illustrator Brooklyn A. Allen (A Home for Mr. Easter) and editor Shannon Watters (Adventure Time: Eye Candy), Chris Sims (X-Men ’92, Deadpool: Bad Blood) described the series as “Buffy The Vampire Slayer meets Baby-Sitters Club.”
The animated incarnation of the comic will reportedly launch with a special directed by Stevenson, which would function as a prospective lead-in to a full-fledged television series, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Stevenson was embroiled in controversy over the summer when she recounted a conversation with She-Ra storyboard artist Sam Szymanksi during a live-stream that allegedly concerned a problematic joke related to the family of the series’ archer character Bow, as reported by ScreenRant. Stevenson explained during the live-stream that the joke originated with the idea of potentially showing Bow’s siblings, who would all have rhyming names: “There’s, like, Oboe and he plays the oboe, and then there’s, like, Gogh, like Van Gogh, and he’s missing an ear… [Sam] would come up and he would just be like, ‘Which one of Bow’s brothers likes to till the fields?’ And I’m like, ‘Which one, Sam?’ And he’s like, ‘Sow.’ ” Members of She-Ra‘s online fan community allegedly found the remark problematic for its racial undertones, since Bow is a Black character and “tilling the fields” could be interpreted as a reference to slave labor in the United States. Stevenson apologized for the remark on Twitter and shared the original sketches of Bow’s brothers, including Sow. Szymanski later issued his own apology in a Twitter thread, although he alleges that the original joke referred to gardening in general, without any of the implied racism derived from Stevenson’s live-stream recollection.
Hi. I just want to say that I am so, so sorry for what I said. I fucked up. This was the image I was referring to, an inside joke with the crew that I didn’t think twice about. It was exceedingly careless and I’m sorry for the hurt I caused. pic.twitter.com/Kzwa1IHCyx
— Noelle Stevenson (@Gingerhazing) August 27, 2020
1) As I remember, the original joke was “Garden…Grow.” the name Sow came from the drawing and the phrasing “tills the fields” came from the recent Livestream.
— Sam szymanski (@Sizzlemanski) August 31, 2020
Volume 16 of Lumberjanes, compiling Issues #61 through #64, comes out on December 22nd and is available for pre-order online. You can also start reading Lumberjanes from the beginning with Volume 1, which compiles the first four issues.