Cover to Wet Moon 1: Feeble Wanderings
|Date||October 2004 - present|
|No. of issues||7|
Wet Moon is a series of graphic novels by Sophie Campbell and published by Oni Press with an "O (Older Audiences)" rating. Primarily set in the fictional southern American college town of Wet Moon, the series stars a large cast of characters, most in their late teens and early twenties, with many into the Goth subculture and other Alternative cultures. Early chapters of Wet Moon begin with quoted lyrics from gothic and alternative bands such as Bella Morte. The mostly-female cast is notable for its diversity of body types, including those with disabilities (e.g., cojoined twins). They struggle mightily with relationships (with parents, siblings, friends, and lovers), with LGBTQ issues prominent. Conversely, while the cast is racially diverse, race and class concerns are not much expressed. The series is at times very dark, delving into anger, violence, drugs, self-injury, illness, and predatory/loli sex. Yet it also celebrates community, love, growth, and just hanging out.
The first 6 books were originally published under the author's birth name Ross Campbell from 2004 to 2012, with initial plans for two additional books. In 2015, Sophie Campbell announced reprints of the series, with redesigned covers by Annie Mok. Subsequently, a new seventh book, released in November 2018, completed the (now revised) story arc; the afterword therein dangles the possibility of a future volume with the characters much older.
When Published, and Author Name
The original editions of volumes 1-6 were published before the author's public 2014/15 transition from "Ross Campbell" to "Sophie Campbell". The new editions, with new covers, can have a bit of additional content. From 2013 to the series resumption in 2018 with Volume 7, the author focused on other projects, e.g., the Shadoweyes series; see her bibliography. Dates in the table are from the Library of Congress catalog and/or books' copyright page.
|Book||First Published (author = Ross)||New Edition (author = Sophie)|
Synopsis of Book 1: Feeble Wanderings
Book 1 is an unusually usual day-to-day story set in the town of Wet Moon, a place fraught with lousy love lives, teen angst, and shadowy rednecks. The story revolves mainly around Cleo Lovedrop and her three best friends: Trilby Bernarde, Audrey Richter, and Mara Zuzanny; all four attend the local art university. The first issue begins with Cleo unpacking her things into her new dorm when Mara and Tribly show up for a visit. Elsewhere, Audrey is out of class and walking around with Martin, Trilby's current love interest. After Martin is caught by "the Pringles guy" (a student with an art portfolio who immediately shows his artwork to Martin whenever they meet and always has Pringles), Audrey goes to the restroom where she finds the first of many signs/wall carvings to come that read "Cleo Eats It." Audrey makes her way to Cleo's dorm after Mara had already left to let Cleo know what she had found. After a diary entry, Cleo checks her weight and herself out in the mirror of her bathroom. On the panel opposite, Myrtle, Cleo's future lover, is examining herself as well and it is clear that she self harms. The following day Cleo, Trilby and Audrey check out the carving on the bathroom wall. Upset, Cleo goes home to mope, but is greeted by her roommate Natalie Ringtree. Later, Cleo makes her way across town to her parents' house only to find her half-sister Penny at home, who demands that Cleo had borrowed her shoes without asking and that she take them off.
On the way home, Cleo runs into her friend Glen Neuhoff and they chat for a bit until Cleo goes to catch the bus. After getting on, Cleo's ex-boyfriend Vincent comes on the bus. Cleo becomes frantic and makes her way off the bus and into the park where she vomits on the grass. At home, Cleo is hanging onto the toilet when her other roommate Malady Mayapple comes home and asks if she's alright. After Cleo confirms her condition, Malady leaves for class. Depressed and alone, Cleo goes outside for a cigarette. Across town, Audrey is at the video rental store when the clerk, Myrtle, touches her hand in a certain way that surprises Audrey. Afterwords, she runs home having to pee. At night, Trilby is at home watching old episodes of Star Trek when Mara and Cleo surprise her at the door. She quickly turns off her tape, hides it and gets ready to go out with them. Having been invited by Natalie, the girls head out to The House of Usher, a huge gothic club set in a mansion in the middle of town. Trilby flirts with the bartender and gets a beer, a fellow art student greets Cleo and gives her a drawing of a demon while all the time calling her "Chloe", and Mara punches her ex-boyfriend's current girlfriend in the chest. Trilby and Cleo also lock eyes on the mysterious Fern, a small-built girl with a deformed arm and nearly blind. Attempting to avoid contact with anyone, Natalie slips out the door only to be stopped by Connor wanting to sleep with her. She blows him off and leaves.
After leaving the club, Cleo attempts to tend to a drunken Trilby, who attempts to kiss Cleo in her inebriated state. Cleo pushes her off and leaves for her room. She finds an old picture of Vincent and holds her stomach in pain while staring at the moon. Meanwhile, Natalie smokes a cigar and is on her way home from the club. Myrtle is in the park after leaving the club earlier as well. She sits thinking to herself about the pretty girls she'd seen pass by and how she'd like to be nothing like them. She calls to Natalie, who gives a faint smile and walks away. Myrtle whispers "I hate you." At her mansion, Fern, fully undressed, dips herself into the bayou. The following morning, Trilby tells Audrey what she remembers of last night and tells her not to say anything, while Cleo and Mara meet up at Denny's to talk. Audrey and Trilby end up joining them for a bit since Trilby says she has a date there in a couple minutes anyway, but she and Cleo get into an argument causing Cleo to leave with Audrey. Audrey confines in Cleo what Trilby had told her making Cleo feel extremely embarrassed. On the other side of town, Myrtle and Glen are working at the video store eating Chinese food for lunch. Myrtle opens a fortune that reads: "Beware: Your stupidity will be your undoing." Martin comes in the video store to return a rental and then makes his way for a date with Trilby. Since they are near the video store as well, Audrey tells Cleo about the hand trick Myrtle gave her the other day. Cleo gets excited to see it and they both travel to the video store. While there, Cleo gets distracted with talking to Glen, but all the time Myrtle is watching her. Before parting ways, Audrey tells Cleo that she believes Glen has a crush on her. After she and Cleo part, Audrey finds a "Cleo Eats It" sign and disposes of it. Working for Fern, Penny is about to finish her day when Fern asks about Cleo saying she had seen a picture in Penny's purse when Penny had never showed her. On the other side of town, Cleo is walking home when she runs into Vincent. She immediately darts away and ducks into an ally until he walks away. There she finds another "Cleo Eats It" sign and rips it down.
After speaking to Malady before bed, Cleo starts to become upset and cries. She holds in stomach in pain as she walks to the fridge and grabs a chilled pillow from it. The next morning, Cleo wakes up with only minutes before class and rushes to get ready. When she had finally made her way to class, she quickly spots Vincent in her class and runs in the opposite direction down the stairs, only to trip and fall on top of Myrtle.
Rest of the Series
- Book 2: Unseen Feet
- Book 3: Further Realms of Fright
- Book 4: Drowned in Evil
- Book 5: Where All Stars Fail to Burn
- Book 6: Yesterday's Gone
- Book 7: Morning Cold
The main contents of Books 1-6 are in black-and-white, while Book 7's are all in color: sepia line art overall, with contrasting tints on characters.
- Cleo Lovedrop-(Age when introduced: 18)-Living and going to college at the local art school.
- Trilby Bernarde-(18)- Cleo's best friend.
- Audrey Richter-(19)- Kindhearted blabbermouth of the group.
- Mara Zuzanny-(18)- Introspective cockroach lover.
- Penny Lovedrop-(23)-Cleo Lovedrop's older sister
- Fern (21)
- Natalie Ringtree-(21)- Cleo Lovedrop's roommate.
- Myrtle Turenne-(19)- Cleo's troubled lover.
- Martin Samson-(21)- Trilby's geeky boyfriend
- Malady Mayapple-(20)- Always has pie!
- Glen Neuhoff-(20) Costume maker.
- Meiko-(5) Cleo Lovedrop's Cat
- Vincent Verrier-(24)- Cleo Lovedrop's ex-boyfriend and Penny Lovedrop's new boyfriend
- Zia Morlon - Cleo's co-worker, Myrtle's roommate
- Fall Swanhilde
- Beth McKenzie
- Ben Viola - Mara's ex-boyfriend
- Marissa Lyons
- Connor Eakle-(23)-
- Slicer (26) - Audrey's roommate and beard