Friday, June 22, 2007


I remember back in 1985 I was a severe Marvel Zombie when it came to comics. I even bought a lot of their Epic line which was the Marvel equivalent of the Vertigo that DC has. Anyway, Moonshadow tells the tale of ...well Moonshadow. Seems that his mother, Sunflower, was kidnapped by these creatures known as The GL'Doses. The picture shows one of these on the cover. And, no it's not the kid with the flute, it's the big roundy thing. Seems that the GL'Doses operate without rhyme or reason. They travel the galaxy and once in a while they kidnap creatures and place them into their intergalactic zoo. It is here that Sunflower finds herself. After being there for a while she also finds herself getting married to one of the GL'Doses. The honeymoon is a quick one, the marriage is consummated and nine months later Moonshadow is born. Now, the zoo is not a very friendly place. Most of the creatures there look at Earthlings as some sort of pariah so Sunflower, Moonshadow and their cat, Frodo spend a lot of time by themselves. Moon's discovery of a neighbor, Ira leads him to discover things that most people would never want to know. Ya see, Ira is a six foot tall furball with a bowler for a hat and a rabbit tail. He is also a hedonistic madman. Moon craves his friendship so much that he brings him acres of porn from his huge library. Moon's father gave him a complete intergalactic library and Moon absorbs the romantic literature of Earth. His view of things is highly romanticized.
Then his father reappears and tells him it is time to leave the zoo. On a ship called The Decrepit the crew of Moonshadow, Sunflower, Frodo and a very unhappy Ira are propelled into the void.

And the adventure begins....

Vertigo was kind enough to release a quality trade paperback of the original twelve issue miniseries in 1998. The one problem with reading this series is the prohibitive cost. The trade paperback is forty bucks and the price on the back issues from Marvel is prohibitive as well. Does that mean you shouldn't read this? No. This is epic storytelling at it's very best The story by J.M. DeMatteis is both funny and heart wrenching. This is on a level with the best of Neil Gaiman. Add to that the watercolors of Jon Muth and you get a comic book experience that borders on true art and transcends comic storytelling that still has to be surpassed.

Maybe you could con your local library into carrying this. Most librarians would love to have something this pretty on their shelves and I don't know about your library but the ones here in Kalamazoo have quite a few comics on the rack lately. I think this a good thing.

Regardless Moonshadow is one of those things that I would consider must reading for any true comic aficionado. Oh, and one last caveat;

For some reason, Vertigo released the trade paperback with a one shot sequel to Moonshadow that explains what happened to Moonshadow after he was done spinning his tale. It's superfluous and meaningless. While the very end of it was a neat concept the execution left a lot to be desired and was vastly inferior to the original series.

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