Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wet Moon Vol. 5: Where All Stars Fail to Burn

by Ross Campbell

Every time I read a volume of Wet Moon, Ross Campbell's bizarre series about the relationships of pan-sexual college students in the South, I end up talking about how little I would expect to like a book like this, and yet I find myself completely drawn in and hooked by the story.  This volume was no different, but I did have my problems with it.

To begin with, volume 5 is much shorter than the previous books; it doesn't look smaller in your hand, but a good twenty pages are taken up with fan art.  Also, I think it was the first volume to end on a cliffhanger, which is unfortunate when you consider that it's been over two years since this book was published, and volume 6 doesn't appear to be on the horizon anytime soon.  I'm not complaining - Campbell is working away on his Shadoweyes and his upcoming run on Image's Glory (and I think drawing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?), but with an ending like this, I want some resolution!

As with all the previous volumes, this one is spent following the various inhabitants of Wet Moon as they go through the ups and downs of college life.  Cleo is having problems with her girlfriend Myrtle (who we learn is a total psychopath) and drawing closer to her good friend and potential love interest Mara.  Audrey breaks up with Beth and gets closer to Kinzoku.  Trilby reluctantly introduces Martin to her family.  Natalie gets attacked in the park, and has her faced slashed.  She is rescued by Wet Moon's Kick-Ass style vigilante Unknown.  Some other stuff happens.  You know, life as normal for these kids, more or less.

Aside from the slasher/stalker element, nothing new happens in this issue, but it continues to be a compelling and fascinating read.  There's just something that Campbell does with these characters to keep drawing the reader in, and it's pretty interesting to watch.  There is a fantastic silent montage scene towards the end of the book, where many of the principal figures are given a page each, although they are mostly just sleeping or waking up.  You can almost hear the montage music playing.  This only works because Campbell is able to visually differentiate his characters in ways that very few comics artists can.  Their personalities are housed in their bodies, and that is this book's greatest strength.

Wet Moon is definitely not for everyone, but I love it.  I just wish there was some more to read again.

No comments: