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Wet Moon Vol. 1: Feeble Wanderings - Book Review

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by Jennifer Muirhead (subscribe)
I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma. ~ Eartha Kitt
Published June 25th 2019
comics, graphic novels, Sophie Campbell, YA graphic novel, graphic novel for teens

Cleo has just moved into a new flat, ready for her first semester at art school. She has two new housemates, who she is convinced already hate her, and a strange stain on her bedroom floor, left by the previous occupant who disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Her friends, Trilby, Audrey and Mara are dealing with relationship issues of their own, while everybody tries to avoid the Pringles Guy. Meanwhile, there are mysteries to solve. What is the story behind Fern, the one-armed girl who lives alone out near the swamp? Who keeps writing "Cleo eats it" all over campus? And who blocked up the toilet?

Wet Moon, graphic novel, graphic novel with goths, YA graphic novel, Sophie Campbell
From Wet Moon Volume 1.

Wet Moon
is written and illustrated by Sophie Campbell (of Jem and the Holograms), which has been compiled into 6 volumes of trade paperbacks.

Honestly, I wasn't quite sure whether I liked this book or not. The story is slow moving, and reminded me a little of Daniel Clowes' Ghost World, though full of goths and with the angst turned up a notch. Not a lot has actually happened so far, plot-wise. The characters get a little annoying, having realistically banal squabbles and conversations about nothing. However, the slightly spooky elements with Fern (a separated conjoined twin?) and whatever is going on in the swamp add some intrigue.

The art feels a touch exploitative at times, with lots of bums and boobs and pouty doll mouths, but there is an interesting range of body types, from the short, plump Cleo to the slim, angular Vincent, the boy Cleo continually flees from in fits of extreme shyness. I liked the level of detail in the backgrounds in some scenes, like the posters on the walls.

Since I was curious and Googled it, in case you didn't already know, a wet moon is when the crescent moon's 'horns' point upwards at an angle relative to the horizon, so that it looks like a bowl or a smile. It's the motif on Cleo's top and Fern's tattoos or body paint.

Wet Moon, Sophie Campbell, graphic novel
From Wet Moon Issue #4.

Wet Moon
is full of angst-ridden young artistic people looking gorgeous while being petty and mean to each other. However, in parts it's also sweet, and feels somehow authentic, but with a side of strangeness that I don't quite know what to make of. I'll probably continue on to Wet Moon Volume 2: Unseen Feet just to see where it goes from here.
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