is a Slice of Life Graphic Novel
series written and drawn by Ross Campbell and published through Oni Press. It follows the lives of several young females living in the fictional southern backwater town of Wet Moon, as they deal with college, gaining employment, attending concerts and working through interpersonal problems.Not to mention serial killers, strange FBI agents, giant boars, urban vigilantes and ghosts of people they know.
It's better than it probably sounds, largely due to the author writing a slow-burn plot with natural situations coupled with a David Lynchian
atmosphere. Moreover, while most of the multiracial cast belongs to the goth
/scenester subculture (with some characters also gay or bisexual), none of them are portrayed as stereotypically as they are in other media. This even extends to the author's particular art style, which readily acknowledges the varied body types different kinds of women inherit or grow into.
Storywise, it initially centers on the daily pitfalls of Cleo Lovedrop, a local resident and college student in Wet Moon and her friends Trilby Bernarde, Mara Zuzanny and Audrey Richter. As the series progresses, Cleo enters a relationship with dorm neighbor Myrtle Turenne while the focus shifts around the cast, like the growing relationship between Trilby and her new boyfriend Martin, Mara's encounters with fellow dorm resident Natalie Ringtree, Audrey's romance and body-image problems and several other small, odd glimpses of minor characters in off-key situations. Elements of horror and paranormal mystery have begun to creep into the plot very gradually, possibly regarding Fern, a hairless, one-armed and perpetually closed-eyed heiress living in her parent's old estate near the town swamps. There's also an FBI agent with a pet monkey walking around. Not to mention an amateur crimefighter. Yeah...
As of now, six paperback volumes have been released through Oni Press, all of which can be bought here
or at your local comic book shop
. For more information about Ross Campbell, stop by his Web page
or check out his DeviantArt account
Provides examples of:
- A Date with Rosie Palms: A Rare Female Example with Cleo, although nothing is actually depicted in the series.
- Mara wrote in one of her blogs that she masturbates a lot but she has never had an orgasm.
- Agent Mulder: FBI Agent David Wolfe. Dude eats at Denny's with his pet monkey.
- All Men Are Perverts: Slicer is not helping to fight this image at all.
- Amazonian Beauty: Beth
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: When Cleo bring Myrtle to her house her dad decides to entertain them with some of Cleo's "childhood poop stories".
- Martin meets Trilby's parents they are waiting outside of Trilby's apartment. They need a ride back to there house because Trilby's mom crashed the car...again.
- Ambiguously Jewish: Natalie, apparently.
- Anyone Can Die: Ohpleaseohpleaseohplease let Trilby be alright...
- Art Evolution: Ross Campbell's art noticeably changes in several subtle ways between Volume 1-3, which he goes into detail about on a DeviantArt journal entry.
- Art Shift: When Trilby shows her parody "Nightdemon" comic book to Cleo.
- Author Appeal: Large women, dyed hair, wide hips, full lips, strong muscles, shaved heads, piercings, tattoos, nerdettes, etc.
- Awesome McCoolname: Malady Mayapple, Zia Morlăn, Fall Swanhilde.
- Lampshaded by the cast when they realize the FBI agent's name is David Wolfe.
- Bald Women: Fern carries this torch foremost in the series.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Trilby openly warns Martin about Cleo, going so far as to claim the present Cleo to be the "Anti-Cleo" to how she was in High School.
- Understandable, considering Cleo One-Hit KOs an annoying concert-goer twice her size in Volume 3.
- Bi the Way: Lampshaded with Cleo, who hooks up with females but doesn't accept that she's a lesbian. It's a point of contention with her when her friends and family tell her to "pick a side."
- Bigger Is Better in Bed: Trilby claims this about her boyfriend, Martin.
- Butch Lesbian: Beth, one of the females in interested in Audrey.
- Carrying a Cake: Malady likes to carry pies around in her bookbag. We do not know why.
- Fall's little brother and sister once deliberately threw an entire cake at Audrey for shits and giggles.
- Cast Full of Gay
- Cat Fight: Subverted. When Kinzoku catches Beth having lunch with Audrey, what ensues is more of a Cat Brawl.
- Continuity Nod: In book three, page 171-3, Brody from Water Baby makes an appearance.
- And in book five Louisa makes an appearance as one of the members of the baseball team.
- Conjoined Twins: Natalie's sisters Nissa and Nora are conjoined at the head.
- Deep South: The setting of Wet Moon.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Natalie, after Mara starts visiting her.
- Domestic Abuse: Natalie confides in Mara that she and her mother had to run away from her father.
- Beth is physically and emotionally abusive to Audrey, and Myrtle is emotionally abusive to Cleo.
- Dumb Blonde:Fall doesn't know when to shut her mouth when she's upset.
- Embarrassing Tattoo: Trilby gets the Borg symbol tattooed on her shoulder, despite the fact that she doesn't want people to know she's a Trekkie.
- Emo Teen: Yeah, that's Cleo alright. Zia too.
- Everything Is Better With Monkeys: Even strange FBI investigators think so!
- Fan-Art: Included in the back of several of the graphic novel's volumes.
- Fan Disservice: An argument can be made towards the deformed Fern in this regard.
- Fanservice: Trilby doesn't mind walking around topless, anymore than the author minds drawing his girls in sexy poses.
- Fat Girl: Cleo, despite the fact that she isn't the most overweight of the cast, but rather because of how much she whines about her weight, prompting Trilby to tease her in retaliation.
- Full Boar Action: One's spotted in the swamps during Volume 4.
- Funny Background Event
- Genki Girl: Trilby is a particularly snarky example and we love her for it.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Natalie gets a nasty one from the top of cheek diagonally down to her lower lip.
- A few of the girls are also cutters, including Myrtle and Zia.
- Goth: A rare example of the subculture being portrayed realistically, as much of the cast also dabble in Emo, Punk and Scene trends and influences, much like today's younger Goths.
- Harmful to Minors: Audrey is not pleased to find out that the twenty-something Slicer is sleeping with the teenage Fall.
- Jerkass: The guy Cleo punched out during the Bella Morte concert, for good reason. Later makes a comeback at the comic book convention, chewing out Cleo and shoving her on the ground.
- Lean and Mean: People assume this about Natalie. In reality, she's only evil sometimes.
- LiveJournal: Several characters have them, and entries from Audrey and Mara's are each shown in later volumes.
- Love Triangle: The unconfident Audrey ends up attracting Kinzoku, a skinny Asian chick, and Beth, a muscular Butch Lesbian, much to Audrey's frustration.
- And now it seems Mara is pulling Cleo away from Myrtle.
- Modesty Towel: Natalie walks around with these twice in the series. Malady even she should wear something like it for a dress.
- Mind Screw: A disturbing amount of unexplained scenes, like Cleo's cat being led underneath her dorm floor by another cat, half the panels Fall appears in, and whatever the upside-down Fern-thing was that Cleo saw.
- Most Annoying Sound: Cleo's ringtone is this according to Myrtle.
- Nerd: Some of the cast might count, but Trilby takes the title after having sex with The Chronicles of Riddick going on in the background, cosplaying as a catgirl from Darkstalkers, getting a tattoo of the Borg symbol and even admitting that she wanted to start being a vigilante.
- Subverted in that she's also a Trekkie, but doesn't want others to know due to fear of humiliation.
- No Communities Were Harmed: The town of Wet Moon itself is based on Savannah, Georgia, with many of the backgrounds containing clearly recognizable local landmarks and buildings.
- Not Wearing Tights: Unknown is Wet Moon's local crimefighter, but dresses in a ski mask and urban clothing.
- Parody: A fellow art student named Mark loves to regale chicks with his drawings of demons, and even drew up a typical 90s Antihero named Nightdemon. Trilby got in on the action and drew a "homage" Nightdemon comic that featured the titular demon turning his hand into a drill...OF JUSTICE!
- Poster-Gallery Bedroom: All the girls have them, and act as a menagerie of background Shout Outs.
- Psycho Lesbian: Myrtle is heading this way, if she's not already there.
- Romantic False Lead: Quite a few fans fell for the Trilby/Cleo ship after Trilby hits on Cleo while she is drunk. However, Trilby starts to fall for Martin, and Cleo begins a realtionship with Myrtle and later on Mara.
- Scars Are Forever: Certain scenes allude to Natalie having a harder time recovering from her attack than she lets on.
- School Yard Bully All Grown Up: Cleo believe it or not.
- Secret Identity: Nobody knows who Wet Moon's new vigilante Unknown is.
- Serial Killer: Myrtle Turenne has interesting late night activities.
- Shout-Out: More than could possibly be listed here. There's all the posters of real-life bands, movies and TV shows littering the girls' rooms, the names of various Wet Moon businesses (House of Usher, Lo Pan's, Everyday Is Halloween), the time when Trilby forced Martin to watch The Chronicles of Riddick films, or when Trilby and Cleo went to a convention cosplaying as Felicia and Morrigan from Darkstalkers.
- The author also peppered the character portraits in Volumes 1-3 with lyrics to Bella Morte songs.
- The Slacker: Slicer, made all the worse by him shacking up with the underage, white trash Fall.
- Snark Knight: Natalie Ringtree.
- Special Guest: Cleo and her friends attend a concert by Bella Morte, a real life Industrial Goth band in Volume 3.
- Trilby also gets to meet real-life indie comics artist Becky Cloonan when she attends a local comic-con.
- Straight Man: Trilby's supportive and accepting boyfriend Martin.
- Special consideration goes to Fern, who is repeatedly shown walking naked into the swamps in the dead of night. There's also the fact that she has an entire mansion all to herself, and keeps creepy stone busts in one of the rooms.
- Natalie lampshades this against her roommate Malady, claiming that she acts weirder and weirder to seem cool.
- Super Hero: Unknown, who's really just some chick who dresses up and stops muggers and serial killers.
- Tell Me About My Father: Subverted. So many people have asked Trilby about her missing parents that she doesn't care about them anymore.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot
- Wham Episode: Volume 5, which immediately kicks off with Natalie getting her face carved open by Myrtle, then goes on to Cleo and Myrtle's first big verbal fight, Trilby opening up about being raised as an orphan, Cleo seeing a monstrous version of Fern appear in her room, and ends on a happy note when Myrtle ambushes and stabs Trilby repeatedly in the gut.
- Wrong Side of the Tracks: Fall Swanhilde is noticeably more white trash than the rest of the cast, and it shows in where she lives.
- X Meets Y: David Lynch meets Ghost World.