Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Giant Days, Vol. 7 by Allison, Sarin, Fleming & Cogar

I took a nearly two-year hiatus from reading Giant Days, patiently waiting for the publisher, Boom! Box, to put out more hardcover Not on the Test compilations. But as it has been two years, and no further hardcovers are showing up even on forward publishing plans, I have to assume that Boom! Box have done the all-too-common publishing thing of realizing Plan X was not feasible/profitable/possible and quietly scrapping it without telling anyone.

So I'm back to the trade paperbacks with Giant Days, Vol. 7, blinking in the light and trying to remember who everyone is and what happened in the last issues I read around Christmas 2018.

(See my previous Giant Days posts: Volumes one, two, three, and four, Not on the Test 1 & 2, Not on the Test 3, Extra Credit.)

This volume has stories set during the Christmas break of their second year (of three, in the British style) and through the dark days of winter immediately following. As usual, each issue has a self-contained story -- Giant Days has always been a series easy to drop in and out of, to pick up at basically any point. Sure, it's better if you know who the characters are and what they've gone through, but the action of any issue stands on its own; you never end up in Part 8 of the Great Grade-Fixing Scandal plotline.

So here we have an issue about the holidays, mostly with Susan and her bevvy of sisters, an issue mostly about McGraw and Ed's horrible housemate and his MMORPG love, an issue in which Ester's new enthusiasm is fighting The Man (specifically The Man as exemplified in a big corporation that owns franchised grocery stores), and an issue in which there are mysterious and frightening noises in the garage attached to the women's apartment, which exacerbates other interpersonal-problems but is solved via Cute Overload.

That should be vague enough that those of you who haven't read these issues won't be spoiled, I hope.

As always, John Allison writes zippy, fun dialogue and creates fully-rounded, deeply imperfect people. The artists (Max Sarin pencils, Liz Fleming inks, Whitney Cogar colors) give it a great dynamism, pushing the humor levers just far enough but not too far -- this is a funny series about people, rather than a pure humor book full stop.

So, yeah, this is still great, and I have seven more books like this to catch up on. Luckily, my local library system has all but one of them, so there will likely be a series of shorter and shorter posts about further Giant Days volumes over the next few months.

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