RandoMonday: Moonshadow #12

Here’s a comic chosen at random from my collection.

Moonshadow #12 by JM DeMatteis (writer), John J. Muth, Kent Williams, & George Pratt (artists), Kevin Nowlan (letterer), Shelly Roeberg (editor), Archie Goodwin & Margeret Clark (original series editors), and John J. Muth (cover)

What a strange little comic this is. First, this is the reprint edition put out by DC Comics in 1994-1995, nearly ten years after Marvel published the series under its Epic line. Curiously enough, DC had first offered to publish the series, but Jim Shooter told Mr. DeMatteis that Marvel would publish it (total speculation on my part, but perhaps Shooter wanted to trump DC?), so DeMatteis went with Marvel. I originally read the Marvel series because my friend Travis was getting it, though I didn’t finish the series. When I saw that DC was reprinting it in 1994, I added it to my pull list. As I read through the issues, I realized why I didn’t finish the series before: I didn’t care for some aspects of it. For example, one of the characters, Ira, was crude and rude, farting and masturbating his way through life. While played for laughs usually, I didn’t care for it. It made getting through the middle part of the story a chore, but because of my comic OCD (wherein I need to buy the complete story, no matter how I feel about it), I continued on and came to the realization that the story was worth reading (in fact, I should reread the series to see how I feel about it now 20 years later).

I don’t think that I can adequately discuss this final issue as it is the culmination of the story, other than to say that the titular character reaches the end of his retelling of his life story and achieves a cathartic, zen-like resolution to his journey, which I recall finding to be somewhat unsatisfying, but true nonetheless.

The Muth et al art is amazing. I think this was the first comic (when I read it in 1985) that I experienced where the art was watercolored. It completely sells you on the magical, fairy-tale like quality of the story.

The collected edition, The Compleat Moonshadow, is still in print, and I encourage you to check it out. I may be getting this as well because it contains a coda called Farewell, Moonshadow, a one-shot comic published by DC in 1997.

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