Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Goth-Emo Teen Angst Sucks In Bookish 30-Somethings!

Oh, Wet Moon. So angsty and drama-filled. I adore it. I love Ross Cambpell's pudgy little characters with the big eyes and the confusion about their love lives. I love that the most tomboyish main character (beloved Trilby) is also the only outright straight female main character. I love the weird side stories and the feeling that they're all on the point of converging. I honestly cannot put a Wet Moon book down after I open it until it's finished.

So, this is the first time I've reviewed a Wet Moon book on this blog, apparently, and I feel the need to give a little background on it. First of all, it's a comic book/graphic novel series about (mostly) college students in a small Southern town called Wet Moon. The art and culture are very emo-goth, and there is a lot of sexual tension and sexual orientation exploration. It doesn't get too explicit, but it does get sexy, and it's heavy on the bi- and lesbian relationships. My husband introduced me to it, I think because he read the first one and loved it and was confused about why he liked it so much. I read it and also loved it, and then we had a long conversation about the fact that it's so much teenage angsty popcorn fluff, but there's something more to it. And the artwork is flat-out gorgeous.

So our main characters are four high school friends: Cleo (who is probably best called the heroine), Trilby, Audrey and Mara. But the cast of characters seems to grow exponentially with every book, so that I could now name for you probably at least 20 other characters who are also of some significance. Their lives and relationships intertwine, they whine about not getting dates or not knowing who to date, they buy atrocious Hot Topic-style clothing and get tattoos and piercings...it all sounds really mundane, but it is reading crack, I promise you. The first three books really introduce the characters and their relationships and backgrounds - they lay the groundwork. Things started getting weird in the 4th book - a significant character shows some serial killer tendencies, a masked vigilante shows up, there's statutory rape drama and a cat who disappears through weird inky holes in the floor...and then the 5th book just gets weirder. Now, all of the mundane drama stuff still goes on, but there's some David Lynch-like weirdness too. I love these books, and I'd love you to love them too!

So Volume 5, Where All Stars Fail to Burn, is where the shit starts to go down. Things start happening faster. We watch Cleo kinda sorta start to fall in love with a close friend, and also deal with her sister Penny's big secret. We watch Trilby and her geektastic boyfriend, Martin, be just outright adorable, and Martin gets to meet Trilby's parents. We watch Audrey finally stand up for herself. Myrtle becomes even more psychotic, and Fern becomes even more unbelievably weird. We still don't know who the masked vigilante is, though I've got some theories going. And of course, we get to see the big softball game. Campbell, that incredibly talented SOB, leaves the book with a heart-breaking killer of a cliff-hanger - I almost fell out of my airplane seat in shock that he would leave the story like that FOR MONTHS! Until the next book comes out! ARGH! It sets my teeth on edge just thinking about it, even now, and I read this book two and a half months ago!

Bottom line, 5 stars. I cannot get enough of this series. It's killing me that I might have to wait a whole year for the next one. Damn you, Ross Campbell!!!

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