Moonstruck Vol 2: Some Enchanted Evening by Grace Ellis (writer)
Art: Shae Beagle (artist), Kat Fajardo (Pleasant Mountain Sisters artist), Caitlin Quirk (colorist), Clayton Cowles (letterer), and Laurenn McCubbin (editor/designer)
Rating 3/5 stars
Unfortunately, this volume wasn’t as good as the opening story. Time and place were very muddled, and not just because of the moveable fairy houses. I wanted to cheer for Julie and Selena, but their relationship gets incredibly toxic as the story goes on.
Chet remains the very best here, and it makes me wish this story was about them. Chet and Manuel are so cute together.
I’m sad we didn’t get more of Cass; she mostly played a floating future-seeing head who kept predicting doom and gloom for Julie and Selena’s relationship. Give Cass more of her own characterization!
Part of what didn’t gel for me was the focus on Ronnie, Lindi, and Mark, who are all characters I haven’t cared for. Mark shows how much he hasn’t changed, even if he can change shapes and isn’t actually a vampire, but a shapeshifter. The others didn’t seem to learn their lessons, except for Ronnie, who discovered the eternal lesson that straight men are terrible.
The dean cleaning everything up at the end felt anti-climatic. And made me consider how we really haven’t seen any “adults” in this story. Blitheton may be a college town, but there have to people who just live their lives and aren’t students at the school.
Finally, the Pleasant Mountain Sisters stories make sense. They are a manuscript written by Julie, essentially her fanfic, and the comments are from CT. CT, who has a massive crush on Julie, which seemed to come out of nowhere. Selena’s jealousy is gross and obvious. Julie should be a little wiser to the whole situation.
The on-and-off and fighting nature of Selena and Julie got real old. Like they were seemingly fighting for no goddamn reason. Just because you end up in tears and sad when the other person isn’t around anymore, those feelings don’t mean you should get back together. I think Selena and Julie are joining Tara and Willow from Buffy: the Vampire Slayer in the toxic relationships that shouldn’t have continued queer hall-of-fame.
The pacing was pretty terrible. There was too much time spent lost in fairy houses. When a chapter starts off with Julie lost in the sorority house on her way to the bathroom, it’s incredibly confusing what’s happening and why. It was wasted space, and it didn’t flow into anything except maybe more about Julie’s lousy self-esteem. The chapters (issues), in general, were extremely choppy in how they flowed together.
That last part, as Julie tries to find a way out of the frat house for both her and Selena, was extra awful in pacing. Though Beagle’s layouts were great and imaginative in displaying Julie’s panic.
I found the “Ask-a-Know-It-All” sections boring and nonsensical. Are we to believe this place is an afterlife? I’m unsure what the point of them was, and as an addition to the Pleasant Mountain Sisters stories, they felt extra unnecessary.
The one outstanding part of this book continues to be Beagle’s art and Quirk’s colors. They bring this world to life and help set a fun tone. The art is a large part of why I keep reading this book.
While I certainly will continue to read this book, if the creative team puts out more volumes, I am disappointed in this story’s overall quality when it comes to pacing and timing. I do hope that Julie and Selena realize they aren’t for each other.