First Impressions ~ Giant Days #1

EST. 1987 (4)

I was in my local comic shop, trying to be good and only buy one comic (Silk #2, if you must know) when a certain bright yellow cover caught my eye. I remembered vaguely hearing that a comic called Giant Days was coming out this week, but I didn’t know what it was about so I flipped it open.

One phrase immediately caught my attention: “Daisy Wooton is 50% hair and 100% not ready for this mean old world.”

I knew, in that moment, that Giant Days #1 was coming home with me.

Giant Days is about three best friends. They’re all in college and they’re all wildly different. Daisy (from the aforementioned quote) was home schooled and is still a bit out of the loop. Esther is kinda sorta goth and a magnet for trouble. Finally, Susan tells it like it is and keeps her friends from getting too crazy. Giant Days is about their friendship, misadventures, and everyday normal life in college.

I’m so happy I picked up this first issue of Giant Days. I absolutely loved it–in part for an entirely personal reason. It’s not that it wasn’t good in and of itself–I’ll get to all that later–but it reminded me so much of the good things from my high school experience.

Yes, Giant Days is set in college, but in high school, I had two good friends and the three of us were a lot like Susan, Daisy, and Esther.

high-school-3On the left, Eliza–our resident Esther–was a goth and the most emotional out of all of us (obviously, she was the artist of our group). On the right is the other Melissa. While I may have been the one who’s “50% hair,” she was the Daisy-like mamma bear who appeared to be more of the cliche home schooled girl (meaning she could sew and was way sweeter than Eliza and I put together).  And there I am in the middle. I was the semi-level-headed geek who may or may not have had a nemesis or two in my time. Of course, I’m a Susan then.

Like the trio in the comic, we were nothing alike and probably wouldn’t have been friends if we hadn’t been stuck in our tiny home school co-op together–our equivalent of being college roomies. (Here’s my big reveal that I’m home schooled. I don’t actually know that I’ve admitted to that little gem yet.)

harry-potter-party-editSusan, Daisy, and Esther’s way of talking and interacting with each other also was a lot of how the three of us were together. I loved that they talked A LOT and joked good-naturedly with each other. These girls weren’t saccharine sweet or boy-obsessed and I liked that. My friends and I always spent most of our time talking about movies and books, trying on weird stuff in JCPenneys, and starting Barbie Scouts (like Girl Scouts–except not at all) so the quirky, funny trio seemed throwbacks to our younger selves.

I loved reading Giant Days now as an adult, but I would have loved it even more when I was in high school or college. When I was in high school, there weren’t many geeky or quirky girls on TV or in the books I read. I would have loved to read a comic with characters that I could actually relate to and who even reminded me of my friends.

Okay, now, onto the nuts and bolts of Giant Days. . .giant-daysFirst off, I loved Lissa Treiman’s art. The characters were all quirky and widely different in their looks. The girls all had their distinctive personalities showcased in what they wore and even how they appeared to move through the panels. Susan slouched and wore comfy, cute clothes while Esther flailed and dressed in fitted shirts and pants in blacks and grays. The guy characters, meanwhile, had impressive facial hair and ranged from hipster to nerdy chic in looks.

The background art was simplistic, but the overall upscale, cartoonish appearance of the comics was much more suited to art that focused on character rather than surroundings so it didn’t bother me.

I adored John Allison’s story too. This is the 1st in a series of six and I loved the character set-up in #1. While Giant Days isn’t going to action packed, the characters are interesting enough to carry the series to it’s conclusion. I loved that Susan, Daisy, and Esther all have issues that they’re dealing with and I’ll definitely enjoy seeing Daisy adjust to college life, Susan deal with her not-so-burned bridges, and Esther continue to have her misadventures.

I may not be in the exact intended demographic for this comic, but I enjoyed it all the same. If you’re in high school or college or know someone who is, this would be a great series to introduce them too. It’s a lovely slice-of-life story, and I think most young women (or young men even) would find something to like in it.

What’s your favorite all ages comic? 

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