Yasmin Sheikh pours more syrup madness onto your skull and into your eyes. What I find most intriguing about Luna the Vampire is how mundane it is once you strip away the thick layers of nonsense. At its core, the book is made of vignettes shining a light on the insecurities and hassles of being an adult. Luna, seemingly disgruntled by anything that distracts from her chosen routine, is constantly trying to deal with the quiet menace of other people.
Sheikh's writing works best when it gentle mocks adulthood. The harder it tries satire, the less effective the humor. Some of the more pointed jokes (particularly the handful of mock advertisements) aren’t as clever as they are meant to be. Thankfully, the comic tends to lean on its strengths.
It's nice that Luna seems nonplussed by much of the nonsense surrounding her. Off-the-wall comedy can sometimes falter because the figures at the wacky center of it all fail to register the sheer weirdness of their circumstances. As a result, in those situations at least, the reader has no recognizable point of view without someone acknowledging at least some part of the craziness. Here, Sheikh smartly has Luna shrug in confusion and furrow her brows in frustration through most of the proceedings. But Luna is thankfully not a passive passenger in her life. She stands her ground when needed and pursues her goals with vigor. She's miserable at work, so she tries to improve her situation. Of course it all goes to pot in the end. But she tries. And that's kind of how adulthood works. Luna doesn't wallow in self-doubt and sadness. She moves on. The book then takes time to jab the Stephenie Meyer crowd just a little bit as Luna visits a convention. In fact, obsessive fandom gets some ribbing in general. Luna, for example, is so fixated on grabbing some kind of collectible that she all but ignores the guy unsubtly pining for her.
The book’s art has improved ever so slightly over the already attractive interiors of issue one. Visuals flow a bit better from panel to panel, leading to a more comfortable read. However, I would like to register one specific, minor complaint regarding the book's lettering. Cursive handwriting, as you certainly know, was planted on Earth to give humanity a common evil to focus our righteous ire. It abrades the eyes and corrodes the soul. So, I'm not fond of reading cursive text. Its presence in Luna the Vampire makes some of the dialog difficult to read. It isn't a crippling deficiency, but I find myself halting on panels to stare at letters rather than simply reading words.
The Adventures of Luna the Vampire’s writing retains the macabre enthusiasm and absurd fun that propels the artwork from cover the cover. If you can stand the gross but cutesy artwork, you've already decided you're along for the ride.
The Adventures of Luna the Vampire #2 Writer/Artist: Yasmin Sheikh Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 2/10/16 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital