'Lumberjanes' Animated Series in the Works at HBO Max

Lumberjanes Cover and Noelle Stevenson - H - 2020
Art: Lane Garrison; Photo: Eric Charbonneau
Co-creator Noelle Stevenson is writing and will exec produce the special that will lead into a series.

Lumberjanes, the Eisner-winning Boom! Studios comic book, is in development to be an animated series for HBO Max.

Noelle Stevenson, who co-created the book and proved her animation mettle showrunning Netflix’s She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, is writing and executive producing.

The project is in development at the streamer, and should it venture forward, would launch with an animated special that would lead into a series. Stevenson would direct the special and some of the episodes.

Lumberjanes tells of five friends — April, Jo, Mal, Molly and Ripley — who meet one fateful summer at a camp named Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thilstle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. Their differences aren’t the only thing they have to canoe around, as the girls soon discover there are mysterious and supernatural forces afoot.

The comic was created by Stevenson, Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis and Brooklyn A. Allen and launched in 2014. It proved a runaway hit, with more than 1.5 million copies of the trade paperbacks sold since. Lumberjanes has run for over 70 issues and 13 graphic novels, won multiple Eisner Awards, and won the GLAAD award for outstanding comic book thanks to its exploration of female friendship and strong LGBTQ representation. It has also seen a line of YA prose spinoff novels written by Mariko Tamaki.

A feature adaptation has been in the works at 20th Century Fox since 2015, but when Disney bought the studio, the title was among those that were allowed to travel and set up tents elsewhere.

There was no shortage of suitors. When Stevenson and Boom! reconceived it as a series, a bidding war erupted, with streamers Apple and Peacock vying with HBO Max for the screen rights scout badge.

Ross Richie and Stephen Christy will executive produce the series for Boom! Boom!’s Mette Norkjaer will co-executive produce along with co-creators Watters, Ellis and Allen.

Stevenson created and showran 52 episodes of She-Ra for Netflix and DreamWorks Animation and the series garnered several Emmy and GLAAD Award nominations. The writer-artist is also known for her graphic novel Nimona and released her latest work, The Fire Never Goes Out: A Memoir in Pictures, earlier this year. She is repped by APA, Inkwell Management and Matt Sugarman of Weintraub Tobin.

Boom! has seen several bidding wars for its titles this year — Snow Blind sold to Apple with Jake Gyllenhaal attached to star and produce — and in April signed a first-look deal with Netflix.