Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Giant Days, Vol. 1 by John Allison and Lissa Treiman

This series does not necessarily have to be connected to Allison's webcomics, if the reader doesn't know of that connection. One of the three main characters -- gothy center-of-all-drama Esther De Groot -- was a major character in Allison's strip Scarygoround, but Giant Days is a mildly alternate version of that Esther, who went off to college in about 2004 from that strip and landed in college in about 2013 in these comics stories. (That's one long road trip on the way to school!) And this comic is set entirely at college so far, with no excursions back to the Tackleford of Allison's webcomics, and I don't expect there to be any.

Giant Days is about three female friends: Esther, tightly wound Susan, and happy-go-lucky Daisy. Allison is amazingly good (particularly for a man) at writing about young women and their friendships and daily life -- Giant Days is all about the small moments in life that don't feel small at the time. These three freshmen at an unnamed UK university study (or don't), have crushes and dates and boyfriends and friends who are boys, get angry and happy, and just talk to each other. It's the moments they'll remember fondly ten or forty years from now, presented cleanly and with truth, the story of three specific women and their lives.

Allison is joined here by Lissa Treiman on art -- he draws his own webcomics -- and she has a great energy and vigor that works well with his story. (But don't get too used to her; she's only on this series for these stories and the first two issues of the next collection.) Look, I'm clearly in the tank for Allison, but this series is a lot of fun -- particularly for young women, who don't get to see people like themselves in comics all that much.

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