Esther, Susan, and Daisy probably wouldn’t be friends if they didn’t live near each other in their university dorm. Or so says Susan at the beginning of Giant Days #1, written by John Allison, art by Lissa Treiman (and Max Sarin in later issues of the series). Susan is a cynical medical student with a mysterious past, Esther is a beautiful goth immersed in drama, and Daisy is a naive former homeschooler. In the first issue of Giant Days, Susan makes a bet with Esther that she can’t avoid causing drama.
Esther has no chance to win the bet.
The humor is fresh and off-beat, the art is fabulous, and the characters connect in surprising ways. It is a bit jarring, for anyone familiar with the original run of the series, to go from Allison’s depictions of the characters, to Treiman’s, and then Sarin’s, but the characters are always consistent in their personalities. Secondary characters are also given a chance to shine. Susan has a mysterious past that becomes less cloudy with the appearance of her childhood friend, McGraw. Esther probably has a number of men with unrequited crushes on her, but the most heartbreaking is Ed Gemmell. The series captures university life perfectly: the seeming randomness of relationships, the secrets, the crushes, and the sometimes weirdness caused by a bunch of young people living in the same building.
My favorite issue so far in the series is #5, where Esther, Susan, and Daisy attend a pre-Christmas ball with chaotic results. The later issues tend to end with a cliffhanger, a moment that leads to the drama in the next issue. Giant Days is going to be an ongoing series now, and anyone who likes realistic comics with a good sense of humor should check it out.