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Jo From Lumberjanes

“Friendship to the max!” is the Lumberjanes motto and Jo believes this as much as her friends April, Ripley, Mal, and Molly do.

Jo is typically calm, analytical, and intellectually curious and these qualities are reflected in her main interests, math and science. Two scenes in which her math and science interests are displayed come to mine. In the first, Jo’s knowledge and memorization of the Fibonacci Sequence helps the Lumberjanes escape from a perilous cave. Jo, Ripley, and April take a cake decorating class to earn a badge in issue #11. Here Jo has shown her individuality and instead of frosting her cake instead proudly shows off a prototype gadget she’s created to frost cakes perfectly. In a scene from issue three, Jo and the other girls are on an adventure and trapped in an underground chamber. The only way out is to cross numbered tiles floating across a chasm, but as they almost tragically learn when Ripley steps on one, that stepping on the wrong tile causes it to disappear. Jo has a “Eureka!” moment when she realizes the tiles aren’t all that random and many of them contain the Fibonacci Sequence, a series of numbers in which each number is the sum of the two preceding numbers. The simplest is the series 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, etc. Jo has it memorized up to 233 which gives her and the other girls safe passage to the other side. Jo will often take the initiative when a situation calls for leadership.

Jo talks about being transgender in a heart to heart talk with Barney, one of the Scouting Lads from the nearby all male camp. Barney had accompanied the Lumberjanes on a big adventure and was instrumental in helping to pacify the rampaging Grootslang. Jo was being uncharacteristically snarky with Barney despite being called out by the other girls. She confesses to the boy that he reminded her of a younger [pre transition] version that she didn’t like. The ending of the same issue casually mentions that Jo has two fathers as well. Jo is very good friends with April. The two have a secret handshake. Joe may have romantic feelings for April.

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Jo first appears in Lumberjanes #1 and comes out as transgender in Lumberjanes #17. That’s Jo in the George Washington pose in the above image. Art by Noelle Stevenson. Additional art by Brooke Allen.

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Created by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, and Brooke Allen

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July 17, 2021
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