"Hello, officer. I an THR-446."
"Welcome to the moon. My car's outside."
I'd previously only read short comic strips by Tom Gauld, and usually narrative-free ones at that, so I wasn't sure what to expect from his small graphic novel Mooncop. Turns out it's a solid showcase for the deadpan humor that has made Gauld something of an internet sensation, but it also contains an understated melancholy that drew me in.
Mooncop is a quaint, absurd, and quietly poetic comic focused on the lone police officer on a dwindling Moon colony (his crime solving rate is 100%, as there are no crimes to solve). The art is minimalist in the extreme, but the expressionless faces leave the reader to fill in the blanks most effectively (I'm reminded of the Norwegian cartoonist Jason, who wrings similar depth of feeling out of the nearly emotionless facial expressions of his animal-headed figures).
Gauld explores loneliness and isolation without ever using those words, and in the end offers hope. It's a quick read, but it lingers gently on.
"I'll get you a box to put your therapist in."
My own sci-fi comic, Flesh Machine, continues in free, weekly installments at my website, michaelavolio.com. New readers should start at the beginning. I've just posted pages 191-193!
If you enjoy Flesh Machine, you can use Patreon to support my comics work if you don't already. My Patreon patrons get exclusive peeks into my process and other perks, though mostly it's about making sure I can keep making comics for you to read. I'll continue drawing and sharing Flesh Machine pages until the story concludes at about 300 pages, and I have many more comics planned for after that..! Patreon allows you to partner with me as I build my body of comics work.
Thanks for reading,