Monday, November 14, 2011

Wet Moon Vol. 4: Drowned in Evil

by Ross Campbell

I'll confess that I don't even begin to understand the power that this comic has over me.  I've never been interested in punk, goth, emo anything, have never thought for a moment that piercings are cool (and only rarely have felt that way about tattoos), and usually would have little to no interest about the minutiae of the lives of a bunch of poly-sexual 18-21 year-olds attending college (occasionally) and hanging out with one another (unless the book is Scott Pilgrim).  And yet, this is the fourth time I've started a volume of Wet Moon and read it compulsively until it was finished.

Ross Campbell gets a lot of credit for creating such an interesting and compelling comic.  Really, very little happens in this issue - Cleo tells her friends that she is 'with' Myrtle, but then kisses Mara at a comics convention.  Mara sucks at babysitting monster children, the cat comes back, and Cleo starts her job.  That's about it in terms of plot development.  Well, that and the appearance of a vigilante called The Unknown who stalks the campus parks keeping young women safe.

The strength of this comic lies in the steady succession of strong character moments.  Characters' lives feel like real peoples' lives (more or less), and watching them react to a number of both quotidian and strange events is fun, and vaguely voyeuristic.  This feeling is enhanced by the liberal use of Cleo's journal, or Mara's Livejournal to recap events and put a more personal spin on them.  While I don't think I'd like many of these people in real life, I find that I do like reading about them.

The biggest strength of the book is of course Campbell's art.  I've written before about how he draws real women with real women's bodies, but also seems to enjoy indulging in an attraction for amputees, piercings, and tattoos.  This is a pretty sexy comic.

The best part about this volume though, has to be the cameo by Becky Cloonan.  She is immediately recognizable, and seeing her in the comics convention scene was a treat. 

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