Comics Time: Wet Moon Book 2: Unseen Feet

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Wet Moon Book 2: Unseen Feet

Ross Campbell, writer/artist

Oni Press, June 2006

180 pages

$14.99

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College is the time in everyone’s life when maximum personal freedom meets minimum personal responsibility. Classes and grades notwithstanding, there’s really nothing to stop you from doing pretty much whatever you want, whenever you want, in a parentless, highly sexed world where you are generally rewarded for following your bliss. I mean, at least this was how it was when you were a film studies major. It also seems to be how it is for the art students who populate Wet Moon, Ross Campbell’s languid goth soap opera. As is the case with those heady times before you’ve picked a major, or perhaps toward the end of your four years when you’ve basically completed all your requirements and have maybe four hours of classes every seven days, the kids in Wet Moon seem to neither know nor care where they’re going, simply soaking in the atmosphere of aimlessness. I can’t remember the last time I read a comic this visually (and aurally–the dialogue is spot-on) ambitious while having so little an idea of where that ambition was eventually going to take me. I don’t know how you’d feel about it, but I’m loving the experience. For one thing, it allows Campbell’s art to shine almost as an end in itself. It’s not just that his line is lovely or that his character designs are each unique and memorable or that his characters are basically all super-sexy in this delightfully slatternly way, though all these things are true; he also makes very smart choices in terms of choreography, body language, and pacing that really stick. When lead character Chloe accidentally mispronounces a pair of words in the middle of an argument, the look of self-irritation on her face is pricelessly accurate. There’s a great sex scene where the interplay of insecurity and self-confidence among young people is conveyed deftly and appealingly, but Campbell can also deflate his characters’ romantic presentations, as when he transforms Chloe’s memory of getting dumped by her beautiful ex-boyfriend Vincent into an over-the-top parody of goth sentimentality. And then there are random-ass scenes like some sort of reverie/dream sequence/I don’t know what involving a character drinking orange juice out of the carton, wandering into the street, and rolling one eye up into her head. What a weird, addictive series this is.