Looking for a gift for some comics-loving friend this holiday season, citizen? Or want to get yourself a little something decent in the way of sequential art in a beautifully designed package? Because you deserve it, really, just for having survived almost another whole year on this planet without resorting to homicide or suicide or some other sad 'cide?
Look, we say, no further: It's probably represented, thanks to Canada's comics powerhouse Drawn & Quarterly, in this list that follows.
Mooncop by Tom Gauld
There’s something about Tom Gauld’s distinctive visual style – all those intensely crosshatched shadows adding the illusion of dimension to his simple outlines – that lends itself to depictions of the surface of the moon. Also, Earth’s closest neighbor is – like much of the man’s humor – dry, dry, dry. So it makes perfect sense that his new book –
Oh, hold on. Maybe I’m suggesting this due to hindsight alone? Maybe there’s a sort of personal retcon happening here, because I’ve just finished Gauld’s delightful Mooncop and so only now can’t help but think his cartooning style is just the right thing to express a lunar landscape and the meager outpost of humanity ensconced (in this futuristic tale, at least) thereupon?
Not busted by this Mooncop, though: That guy’s far too busy (ha!) keeping his crime-solution rate at 100% to waste time messing with any earthbound journo from his past. Far too busy interacting with the rudimentary robots and vending machines and dwindling human population of that not-quite-heavenly body. Far too busy attending to his procedural duties – much as Gauld continues, with this book, attending to what seem to be his duties: Bringing us humor and a sort of romantic weltschmerz in equal measures, in wonderfully illustrated form, in stories that deserve such treatment as Drawn & Quarterly provides with this slender and handsome hardcover.