Moon Gloom


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Moon Gloom


  • Words: Shane Houghton
  • Art: Chris Houghton
  • Publisher: Shane and Chris Houghton
  • Price: $0.99
  • Release Date: Oct 6, 2010

Even our silver pal in the sky is entitled to have a bad day, but what exactly is big enough to bring down this guy’s mood? Assuming that Earth and all of us as the planet’s inhabitants are the moon’s friends, would he be sad to see us go? Would he mourn? Would he eventually move on? I hope so.

Regardless of what the moon’s feelings about us are, we certainly have an ancient fascination with our celestial satellite. World myths spanning from China to Norway, Greece to Britain have been born from the human imagination. I even read in the book Magical and Mystical Sites: Europe & the British Isles that the great mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras learned how to foretell the future by staring into a silver disc reflecting the light of the full moon, a trade secret passed down to him by the witches of Thessaly.

Shane and Chris Houghton, the plucky creators of the wonderful Reed Gunther indie series, bring their own contemporary spin to our anthropomorphized fascination with the moon. And in similar Houghton fashion, their miniature, digital comic titled Moon Gloom is friendly, charming, and touching.

It’s no surprise that the protagonist of this little book is the moon himself, and after Earth and its entire population suffers an instant and unknown extinction, the moon is left to wallow in the cold loneliness of outer space. But it’s not in the Houghtons’ hearts and minds to be depressing, so instead of succumbing to despair, the moon uproots himself and sets out to find a new life.

As he treks along on his silly adventures, I was struck again and again by pangs of memory that I can only identify as inspirations derived from the golden age of Nickelodeon: goofy caricatures and light-hearted scuffles happen in Moon Gloom that transport me back to my days of watching cartoons like Ren & Stimpy, Rocko’s Modern Life, and Little Monsters on my much coveted weekends after arduous weeks of languishing away in school.

Moon Gloom is only 14 pages long, and created in honor of the 24 Hour Comic Day challenge. Writer Shane and artist Chris set a goal for themselves of 12 pages in 12 hours, but they pulled off these resulting 14 pages in 14 hours. The writing is campier than in Reed Gunther, and the art is a bit rough around the edges, but that’s not a weakness. For a personal challenge these two set out for themselves, I’m once again moved to smile at their end product.

I won’t say what all plays out in the book, but it’s available for download from their website at the low cost of 99 cents. The proceeds will go towards coloring a future issue of Reed Gunther by a hired professional. It’s worth the low price of download—while this is a simple book, it poignantly illustrates an uncomplicated but important message: adversity happens in life, but it’s essential to buck up and live instead of sulking and wallowing. And one of the ways to accomplish that is to consider others, and by offering that help, you might just help yourself, too.

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