That’s what the hero of Tom Gauld’s Mooncop discovers as he goes about his daily routine, keeping the dwindling citizenry of a future moon community safe from non-existent criminals.
If that sounds like a pointless existence, it is: the protagonist has a 100 per cent crime-solution rate — because no one is committing crimes, at least not on the lunar surface.
Eventually, his Earthly superiors send the moon cop a companion.
“I am a therapy unit. Command thinks you may be depressed,” the robo-shrink explains.
The stark nature of his surroundings surely doesn’t help: Gauld’s empty, wordless panels emphasize the isolation and loneliness of the setting. Naturally, the robot breaks down.
“Since I was a boy, I’ve dreamed about being a cop and living on the moon. But now I’m here, it seems like the party’s over and everybody’s going home,” the cop says to a fellow moon-dweller, who may be the only other person left on the satellite.
Mooncop is a low-key book that can be read on many levels. At its heart, the story is a metaphor for life — and it ends on a hopeful note, driving home the point of how that one special someone can make life exciting and magical.
Mooncop’s proper place isn’t in the pantheon of comic books. Instead, it’s best thought of as the latest work of moon art and, as such, follows the likes of Space: 1999 and the Duncan Jones film Moon.
Our moon has always had a special place in terrestrial art, and Mooncop continues that tradition.