Sophie Campbell’s Wet Moon, Book 1: Feeble Wanderings is a gothic mystery blessed with high-level characterization and art. Formerly known as Ross Campbell, writer/artist Sophie Campbell presumably appreciates an outsider’s view of the world, and her characters, students at a southern art school, bring a refreshing sense of verisimilitude to the book. The center of the Wet Moon universe is freshman Cleo Lovedrop, but there are at least a dozen characters who feature prominently. With piercings, unusual hairstyles, and bodies that don’t often resemble superheroes or stereotypical heartthrobs, there’s little difficulty suspending disbelief and accepting these characters as genuine, which makes the hints of trouble to come more exciting.
The first volume of Wet Moon has been previously published, but it’s presented here in a new edition that offers extra artwork and a five-page short story. In some ways, Wet Moon resembles a more youthful and Americanized version of Gary Spencer Milledge’s Strangehaven series, and similar to those books, Campbell uses black-and-white art to nicely juxtapose the bland but complex everyday details of life with subtle indications of foreboding.
Not much of note actually seems to be happening throughout book 1, and even for some of its intended young adult audience, the immersion into goth subculture might be too much. But if much of Wet Moon is unfamiliar territory, that’s part of the thrill; its characters are helplessly human, and with a stunning cliffhanger ending, the goal has been accomplished—it’s difficult to imagine any reader not wondering “What happens next?”
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