The Giant Days Project – Volume One
I’ve come to love Giant Days, the wonderful slice-of-life comic series from BOOM! Box, an imprint of BOOM! Studios. I love getting the newest issue, but with any character-driven series that has been running a while, I wish I knew the entire history. That’s why I’ve started the Giant Days Project. I’m treating it like Reviews of Old Comics, but since these issues are only a handful of years old, they don’t classify as “old.” Because I like this series so much, I won’t give a final rating, because it would be splitting hairs.
Writer: John Allison
Artist: Lissa Treiman
What’s to Love: John Allison’s daily webcomics Bad Machinery and Scary Go Round are hilarious, the kind of strips where every panel makes you laugh out loud. As a result, John has earned a large, loyal following of readers that have followed his work daily for the past 12 years. Giant Days is an entertaining, slice-of-life look at three friends away at university, and is a series fans of things like Scott Pilgrim and Friends with Boys will not want to miss!
What It Is: Susan, Esther, and Daisy started at university three weeks ago and became fast friends. Now, away from home for the first time, all three want to reinvent themselves. But in the face of handwringing boys, “personal experimentation,” influenza, mystery mold, nuchauvinism, and the willful, unwanted intrusion of “academia,” they may be lucky just to make it to spring alive. Collects issues #1-4.
Going back to the beginning, I’m amazed at how similar the three lead female characters are to their modern stories. Of course, Susan’s opinions of McGraw naturally change, and there is some growth in Ed Gemmell, as well. In this volume, the emphasis is put on Daisy, Susan, and Esther, but we see the beginnings of the traits to make us root for them, Ed and McGraw. It’s been a long time since I’ve been out of college, but I’m easily able to relate to these characters. I’ve tried to pour myself into Scary Go Round, but I wasn’t able to relate as well as I do with Giant Days.
Each chapter has a theme, but all of them tend to carry over into the next one. In just these first ten pages, we’re introduced to all of the major players, and given a defining plot featuring Esther. We’re also given the conflict between Susan and McGraw. Fortunately, that comes to some resolution by the end of the fourth chapter. The other stories drew me in right away. Along the way, there are some great jokes that had me sharing them with my wife and eldest daughter.
The artwork by Lisa Treiman evolves and gets neater as the chapters progress. I thought at first that I was looking at early Max Sarin artwork. This gives me as a reader playing catch-up a sense of visual continuity. That’s not something available in most comics. She’s also very good with visually conveying information about the characters. Once you read the chapter where the girls are all sick, you’ll agree with me.
Where To Get It:
Aside from trying your local comic shop, it is available directly from BOOM! Studios. If you prefer to read it digitally, it is available through Comixology, and is even available as part of Comixology Unlimited. If you’re looking for the individual issues, don’t pay too much for them, unless it’s one of the variant covers, and even then it shouldn’t break your bank.