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Mooncop by Tom Gauld
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Mooncop (2016)

by Tom Gauld

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If you are expecting an action story, go elsewhere. If you are expecting a crime story, that is not that either. What Gauld created is a story about a policeman that is one of the last people left in a place that everyone leaves. It happens to be the Moon - but it could have been any village that is getting depopulated (and my home country has a lot of them), every place that loses its population when the jobs get sent elsewhere.

Once upon a time, the Moon had a thriving colony - with agricultural specialists and people. Then things started to go down - we do not see all the details of how, by the time we start the story, it had already happened. But we do see a few robots replacing people (although in the usual way corporations work, there is also a reversed action when a vending machine is replaced with a human-fronted cafe).

And outside of the moon setting, it is a standard cop story - with donuts, missing pets and mismatched technology - the help our main character gets is so weird - the way it gets when someone reads reports and sees everything like numbers - why would send to the moon a robot that is not suited for rough terrain?

It is a bit repetitive in places (although it serves its purpose of showing the everyday). But the economical art suits the story perfectly. ( )
1 vote AnnieMod | Jan 9, 2017 |
A wonderfully drawn meditation on solitude and a sense of utility in the age of automation. ( )
  albertgoldfain | Nov 22, 2016 |
I love Tom Gauld's cartoons when they appear in The Guardian, so I was excited when his graphic novel Mooncop came out.

It's a salutary tale about brave new horizons, failed experiments, the death of community, and hope for the future.

Across its 94 pages, we follow the last police officer on the moon. He has a 100% crime solution rate. There aren't many people left on this lunar outpost of the earth, though, so no crime happens.

Gauld's illustrations are beautiful in their simplicity and the sparse dialogue punctuates moments of reflection captured in views of the moon's surface, starscapes and views of the earth.

It's a melancholy tale with a wry humour and closes with a glimmer of hope for the future. As a distraction from everything going on here on earth right now, it was a touching read. ( )
  missizicks | Nov 13, 2016 |
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"Living on the moon . . . Whatever were we thinking? . . . It seems so silly now."

The lunar colony is slowly winding down, like a small town circumvented by a new super highway. As our hero, the Mooncop, makes his daily rounds, his beat grows ever smaller, the population dwindles. A young girl runs away, a dog breaks off his leash, an automaton wanders off from the Museum of the Moon. Each day that the Mooncop goes to work, life gets a little quieter and a little lonelier.

As in "Goliath," Tom Gauld's retelling of the Bible story, the focus in Gauld's science fiction is personal--no big explosions or grand reveals, just the incremental dissolution of an abandoned project and a person's slow awakening to his own uselessness. Depicted in the distinctive, matter-of-fact style of Gauld's beloved "Guardian" strips, "Mooncop" is equal parts funny and melancholy. Gauld captures essential truths about humanity, making this a story of the past, present, and future, all in one."
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