The Giant Days Project – Volume Two
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
Artists: Lissa Treiman, Max Sarin
Cover Artist: Lissa Treiman
Susan, Esther, and Daisy started at university three weeks ago and became fast friends because their dorm rooms were next to each other. Now, away from home for the first time, all three want to reinvent themselves. But in the face of hand-wringing 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 #5-8.
This collection benefits from is the freedom from introducing everything. It’s one of the advantages of continuous storytelling. The brilliance in John Alison’s writing is that the characters reinforce their character traits for readers that may have missed the very first issue or collection.
I really like how the girls’ attitudes towards the dance seem to take them into another stage. It’s very seldom in real life that we recognize those transformative events. However, while the girls may not realize it, this dance is one of those events. It even has effects going throughout the book, all the way to the last chapter with Ed Grimmell.
The one story aspect that I really grow tired of quickly is Ed’s crush on Esther. I know that it’s going to take a long time to resolve this, and I’m dreading seeing this revisited over and over in subsequent volumes. It doesn’t endear me to Ed, but once he seems to take a hiatus from it, I find myself rooting for Ed.
I also like the developing relationship between Susan and McGraw. In the first volume, the two came to a truce, but knowing where the characters would go, the signs were there that the two would see their relationship warm even more. It’s nice to see the beginnings of this dynamic, although college-age Susan is a little more unpredictable than the Susan currently appearing in the book. McGraw may have warmed up a little, which shows the influence the pair have on each other.
I mentioned last time that I didn’t see a huge difference between the art styles of Max Sarin and Lissa Treiman. That is really reinforced with this volume. The art switches halfway through and I didn’t even notice. The quality is the same. If anything, Sarin might be a little better at more subtly conveying information about the characters.There are a few instances of the coloring making use of gradients that seem unnatural. That’s a personal pet peeve of mine, but I find it jarring.
Overall, I really enjoyed seeing these characters develop. I like it more than any cast of characters since Strangers In Paradise. That is saying a lot, because I don’t find myself caring about comic book characters that often.