Friday, September 14, 2012

Wet Moon Vol. 6

by Ross Campbell

Having forgotten what reading this book can be like, I stupidly thought that I could read twenty pages or so starting at 12:30 the other night before going to sleep.  Needless to say, it was a late night, and the book was done before sleep took me.

Ross Campbell's Wet Moon is a completely unique comics experience.  It is a long-running series of graphic novels set in a Southern college town.  It revolves around the lives of a group of (mostly) young women (there are a few male characters) who attend school, argue, and fall in love with each other.  Most of the characters embrace punk styles, are bisexual or lesbian, and have bodies shaped like the ones that real women have, not like their comic book brethren.

Prior to volume five, which came out a while ago, Campbell's story mostly stayed in the realm of teen/early 20s soap opera, but that fifth volume had one of the main characters, Trilby, viciously attacked and left for dead in a swamp by a crazed young woman (who is also sort of in a relationship with Trilby's best friend).

This volume follows with the fallout from that attack, as Trilby lies in a medically-induced coma in the hospital, and main character Cleo and her circle of friends have to cope with mortality being thrown into their faces.  That's not to say that this is a group of people that are unused to the curves life can throw us - this book is filled with beautiful young women who are missing an arm, are 'thalidomide babies', and have facial scars (to say nothing of the sudden appearance of a pair of women who are conjoined at the head).  But still, when you live in a safe college town, you don't expect to get stabbed.

This is not the type of thing I would usually enjoy, but I find Wet Moon to be fascinating.  Campbell has such a strong sense of his characters, and also throws them into such strange situations, that I can't put these books down.  His work is kind of trashy, but it also elevates itself beyond the confines of the genre he works in.

Artistically, Campbell's work looks a lot looser in this volume compared to the others.  At times the characters appear less solid than they have in the past; it's a nice progression.  Length-wise, I feel that this book could have had more story in it, especially given the price, but I also understand that with Glory coming out monthly (and being so good), Campbell is a pretty busy guy.

I eagerly await the next volume.

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