When Susan, Esther, and Daisy throw a dinner party because it’s the “adult” thing to do, things don’t go according to plan. The cops are called and people get pissed. Susan is sick the whole issue, Esther makes fun of and gets a job at a comic shop while also befriending their elderly and grouchy neighbor, and Daisy’s girlfriend Ingrid ruins the evening by embarrassing Susan over McGraw and his new squeeze, Emilia. At the end of the issue, Susan has four missed calls—from her dad! What the heck?!
Like always, John Allison gives his characters some really clever dialogue that is just the perfect way to retort any challenge that others throw at them—especially Susan. She has a really sassy personality that I can’t get enough of. The character interaction is spot on from the first page till the last. You know when you’re in an argument and two hours after it’s over, you think of the best comeback? Those comebacks are what make up the dialogue. They are the most perfect of responses, and I commend Allison for being able to do this every issue.
Small additions to each character like Daisy’s food planning (according to allergies and vegetarianism, leading to “veef,” vegetable beef), Susan’s four Nicotine patches at once, and Esther’s lack of comic knowledge help make this issue just as humorous as the first 22.
Max Sarin’s illustrations help make this issue as lively as it is. Little additions like skulls floating from Susan’s mouth whenever she coughs help to hyperbolize and emphasize how sick she is. We all know she isn’t coughing up death itself, but she is mega ill, and those tiny skulls help dramatize what she’s going through. Details like this are in each issue and are what, in my opinion, make the artwork as effective as it is.
Aside from the quirky and unrealistic artwork, Sarin’s pencils show a lot of emotion. Literally all of them, from anger to love, are shown perfectly in the characters’ faces and added animations, like when Sarin draws Susan as “white hot energy.” The general mix of realistic and unrealistic illustrations makes this unique art style really stand out among everything on the shelf.
Giant Days has grown to be one of my favorite comic book series out these days. Not only is it funny, but it’s relatable. Our trio of protagonists isn’t made of special people to the world. Susan, Esther, and Daisy are normal kids just trying to grow up without getting in too much trouble or hurting themselves. This truly is one of the greatest series I’ve read, solely because of the relief I feel when I read about these girls and think, “Huh, I’m not the only one like that.” If you haven’t read any of this series yet, what are you waiting for? Make a trip to your local comic shop and get hip!
Written by: John Allison
Illustrated by: Max Sarin