Lumberjanes Fans Get More to Love with Tamaki & Allen's Novel Series

These are all original stories?

Tamaki: Yes.

Brooklyn, how did you approach illustrating it?

Allen: It was really weird, because there was so much I wanted to illustrate. I sat down and approached it almost like comic book scripts, I started thumbnailing and unconsciously thinking about it, and I was like aw, I can’t, that’s not a good illustration, the next page is a better one. And I kept doing that for a while and it got really tiring so I had to compromise with myself: All right, I’m going to read each chapter and then I’m going to draw a little thumbnail for the chapter heading so I’ll know that’s what it summarizes, and I’ll pull certain things out of that chapter that I think would be really cool to illustrate and just narrow it down from there.

I wanted to go crazy. I wanted to do a little animation like the Animorphs had, on the side, I wanted to do something ridiculous like that, but I ran out of time.

Did doing it in black and white make it faster, or was it harder?

Allen: The chapter headings are easy because it’s more simplistic and it’s just one block of color, whereas I was trying to figure out how to do grayscale and I was trying to figure out the style for the actual illustrations and those are a little harder. It’s still coloring, you’re just coloring with grays.

Did you do your own toning?

Allen: I did.

Have you done toning before?

Allen: Not professionally. [Laughs]

How many of these are you doing?

Tamaki: Four. I got the copyedits for [volume] 2, and now I’m working on 3.

And Brooklyn, are you drawing it?

Allen: [Laughs] I’ve started drawing, but I have a ways to go on 2.

How is it different working with a book publisher as opposed to a comics publisher?

Tamaki: More time!

Allen: More time! [To Mariko:] Which is saying something, because you wrote that in like a month or something, which is crazy.

Tamaki: I think it’s one of those things where if everything is set up, then it all works. There’s no gray area. You know who everybody is. There’s nothing to really figure out. You just have to execute it, let it play out the way it should. As soon as the first week went by, and the first couple of chapters, I was like, I think this is going no problem -- knock on wood. I think.

Have you changed anything from the comic, or is it exactly the same? Will the obsessive fans notice differences?

Tamaki: I think that the obsessive fans will know that I am an obsessive fan. There are some new characters, because obviously, we get to play with a couple of things. There’s a couple of characters that are new, but not too many, because there are a lot of people already in the comic.

There were reveals at a couple of different times in the series, so at what point are you entering the storyline?

Tamaki: Obviously, time is a complicated thing in the Lumberjanes universe, since it’s one summer that we’re really talking about, so I think readers will see that there are a couple of characters that lead you to think it’s happening in one time but it could really fit in anywhere. It could fit in between any of the adventures in the existing comics.

So these are not replacing the comics.

Tamaki: No. If you love the Lumberjanes, there’s more to love.

Allen: It’s expanding the universe.

Is there anything you didn’t get to do in this book that you are hoping to work into future volumes?

Tamaki: We actually had a really great dinner the other night and we came up with our wish list of things we want to do, which I’m not going to spoil because I really want to go through the whole list. It’s our favorite adventure stories, our favorite TV shows, just taking all those things and putting them in these books.

Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power! is available now.

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