Saturday, December 20, 2008

Lesser Known Joe Casey Comics: Full Moon Fever

[Another "lesser known" comic by Joe Casey which I will discuss and, then, ask and answer the question "Should it remain forgotten?"]

This graphic novel was published by AiT/Planet Lair in the early fall of 2005, if I recall correctly. I remember it being then, because I had a cold when I bought it (which affected my appreciation of it) and that cold nearly prevented me from heading to Toronto to see the White Stripes (yes, going to a concert and having to blow my nose every two minutes is not my idea of a good time). I didn't really dig this book when I first got it and hadn't read it again until yesterday. It does have one notable fact, though: Casey co-wrote it with Caleb Gerard. I can't think of another work that Casey co-wrote beyond "grey areas" like scripting over another writer's plot, using the "Marvel style" of writing, or collaborating on crossover events. But, none of those are really "co-writing" in the way that most people use the term. Scripting over another writer's plot is probably the closest, but since there's no agreement on the final results, it's more Casey finishing a job someone else began, whereas co-writing implies a certain level of collaboration and agreement on the final product that none of those other methods have.

The presence of a co-writer presents certain "difficulties" in judging/analysing this work, because it's not purely Casey's work... Then again, it doesn't really read like it. Full Moon Fever is rather mundane and straight forward for Casey. There's a space station on the moon and a team of plumbers have to go and fix some plumbing problems. Only, the ship can't land, because no one is answering their hails. When they do land, they find the place in shambles, eventually, discover bodies, and get killed off one by one by werewolves. There's nothing special about it at all. It's entertaining and well-done, but it's all high concept with few surprises and pretty much what you'd expect once you hear the high concept.

It begins with our main plumber, Zeke Kirby (who we later learn was once a solider, thereby giving him the right skills to survive) getting a birthday gift: a pen that writes in zero gravity that has (surprise, surprise) silver in it! It ends with the revelation that the plant being experimented upon's common name (since they're told the scientific classification) is wolfsbane. There are scenes concerning corporate sponsorship and bureaucratic bullshit that could be considered satirical, but are pretty tame and unoriginal. The dialogue is harsh and almost witty with none of the characters seeming to like one another.

The art by Damian Couceiro is serviceable and works decently well in black and white. He draws clearly, for the most part, and doesn't get in the way. His action scenes are dynamic and convey speed/movement better than a lot of superhero artists that are quite popular.

Should this book remain forgotten?

Probably not. As a piece of entertainment, it's a good popcorn flick. Something kind of brainless to just kick back and enjoy. It doesn't aspire to be anything more, so that's not an insult. It may bore anyone interested in Casey's more progressive concepts and ideas, but it's not bad by any stretch of the imagination. It's werewolves on the moon... not much else to say.