Pullbox Reviews: Moonlighters 1 & 2 – Werewolves, Pizza boxes, & Yard Work

Moonlighters 1 & 2
Space Goat Publishing
Written by Katie Schenkel
Illustrated by Cal Moray
Lettered by Tom Napolitano
Editor, J.D. Boucher
Available now!

High-achieving college student Renee gets bitten by a werewolf, and things take a turn for the weird. She ends up with the Moonlighters: Monster Helpers for hire! Made up of Meg (Were-Huskie), Sue (Were-Akita), and Felipe (Were-Corgi), they have to take supernatural odd-jobs to pay for textbooks, ramen, and *gulp* rent! (Please hire them).

Looking for something a little different? Something light and full of whimsy? To be truthful, I really wasn’t (but I am a bit of a curmudgeon), but you don’t always see what’s coming around the corner. Take Renee, for instance. She was out walking along, minding her own business, and the next thing she knows she’s been bitten by a distraught werewolf. Now, whenever she gets upset the claws come out. How does a college student cope with the stresses of student life when at any moment she could go furry and take a bite out of an innocent bystander?

Renee does the right thing. Instead of trying to go it alone, she reaches out for help. Luckily, the help she finds in the form of the Moonlighters is exactly what she needs. Felipe, Meg, and Sue are more than your average do-gooders, they’re werewolves themselves and therefor perfectly suited to help Renee through her troubles. These “supernatural jacks of all trades” take on the odd jobs of the supernatural community, nothing too big or too small. For instance, raking leaves for the Grundersons, a sweet old garden gnome couple having trouble with their neighbors, a punk rock band called Screaming Sirens.

The message in the first two issues is nothing but positive, with all encounters resolved through patience and understanding. Katie Schenkel is crafting a fairy tale world set in what could be your own back yard. It’s populated by normal folk, people with problems and personal stories, who also happen to be gnomes, goblins, werewolves, and the like. I get the feeling that the underlying theme is “belonging”… Whether it’s a family, a community, a punk rock band, or a group of lupine do-gooders, everyone just needs a place where they can be themselves, and be comfortable doing it.

Cal Moray’s artwork contributes greatly to the cartoonish look of the story, reminding me of the Cartoon Network shows that my daughter used to watch. It’s all light and colorful, and helps set the tone of the story. There’s nothing at all scary lurking around in these pages, unless you count the total mess that is the Moonlighters’ living room.

Moonlighters is a fantasy comedy for all ages, that looks to be addressing topics such as being a good neighbor and lending a helping hand (and maybe how long is too long to keep leftover pizza on the coffee table). It’s not going to be for everyone, but it could be just the thing for a younger crowd looking for characters they can identify with.

Now, I need to go read something with some gratuitous violence… maybe some explosions. And lasers.

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