Some time ago, I read and reviewed the first issue of Giant Days by John Allison and Lissa Treiman. I was absolutely charmed, and reading the first four issues in the new collection, I’m happy to say the charm has not gone away.
Allison and Treiman have found the perfect synchronicity between writer and artist, creating a world both genuine and silly – genuinely silly, silly-ly genuine. Our three female protagonists and best friends – Daisy Whooton, the naïve, brainy, and possible lesbian of the three; Esther De Groot, drama prone and walks to her own fashion-worthy and personality enhanced tune; and Susan Ptolemy, the one with common sense (or so she thinks) – are now in their first year of University. And, they have adventures to share! And, everyone involved from colorist Whitney Cogar to letterer Jim Campbell create a cohesion that brings every panel to life in a way that commits to the vision wholly and completely.
As you read, you take note that the book has a certain lightness to it. You sort of float over, enjoying every moment, not realizing that there are big ideas underneath, especially when a group of college boys decide to start a website that demeans women and the crotchety (male) heads of the University cannot comprehend what the problem is. The potential for heavy handedness is waylaid by the fact that this is a completely character-driven book.
I wrote in my previous review that this should be made into a TV series post haste to show the world that a comic can be entertaining without needing a superhero and villain. We have fully realized characters from the first page; from the character designs to the dialogue, these girls pop off the page. Nothing is forced, there is no drama that hinges on contrivances or ticking clocks. Giant Days shows that a day in the life can be the best way to get away from your own life for a short time.
The only problem with Giant Days is that it only comes out once a month.