Note: as we prepare for IGN’s Best of 2016 awards, we’re revisiting a handful of graphic novel releases from the past year. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our nominations and vote in the reader poll.
For many people, the prospect of serving as a police officer on the moon probably sounds like the coolest job opportunity imaginable. But the reality of that position would probably be far less glamorous. That’s essentially the premise behind Mooncop, a melancholy but charming examination of a lonely man in a lonely colony carrying out a pointless job.
Cartoonist Tom Gauld takes a very minimalist approach with this graphic novel. In terms of tone and visual style, it’s very much in the same vein as the work of Norwegian cartoonist Jason, minus the anthropomorphic animal characters. There’s no narration, little dialogue and an emphasis on somber reflection. It’s certainly an approach that’s well-suited to the concept and setting. Mooncop stars a nameless protagonist referred to only as “Officer.” He’s the lone cop in a dwindling lunar colony, a place where even a missing dog serves as a welcome respite from the crushing boredom and loneliness that define his existence.