Review: Navigating The Giant Days Of College Life With Genuine and Unique Characters


I wrote a little something about Giant Days issue one, I was really smitten with it and it seems like a good a time as any to start posting and making this blog worthwhile.

Click link for Full review on bleedingcool or read it below.

Review: Navigating The Giant Days Of College Life With Genuine and Unique Characters

“Nothing you can do can spoil gravy for me”

Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, Boom studios and its youthful imprint, Boom! Box have been consistently putting out an increasingly innovative and diverse range of books from new creators such as Lumberjanes, Teendog and Help us! Great Warrior. Joining this impressive line-up of books are the first of six issues of John Allison and Lissa Treiman’s Giant Days, which spins off from Allison’s previous work on his acclaimed web comic, Bad Machinery. This time around with Disney storyboard artist Lissa Treiman taking over art duties.


Although Giant Days takes characters from Allison’s previous long running web comic, it does so in way that brings them in a new setup and doesn’t require you to have read Bad Machinery at all. Although you should, it’s pretty great too. The first page belies the complexity of the characters as they are introduced quite simply, instead allowing them to be presented more fully over the first issue, each with their own peculiar quirks and personalities. Caption boxes give us the basics behind the wildly disparate trio, the sweet home-schooled Daisy Wooton, dark and dramatic Esther De Groot and linchpin of the group, Susan Ptolemy a few weeks into their first year of university as they navigate the small annoyances and obstacles that make up their own “giant days”, magnified and exaggerated by the character’s youth. The unusual group should be immediately recognizable to anyone who has ever had a friendship group pushed together through geography over anything else. Already the unlikely trio are shown contending with independent living, past relationship pains and the horrors of Northampton.

002Although Allison’s previous work was both drawn and written by himself, this time the art is provided by Lissa Treiman in her first major comics gig, having worked as storyboard artist for Disney on the likes of Tangled, Wreck it Ralph and the recent Big Hero 6. Treiman’s background in animation is a perfect fit for Giant Days. Even on the printed page the characters are incredibly animated, flowing between panels. Going back for this review I found myself pouring over single panels and the way characters are captured as every character moves and holds themselves in distinct ways, the body language capturing the trio and the other characters perfectly. Treiman also has a keen eye for street fashion without seeming over the top, the scarfed plaid wearing victim of Esther’s drama field is a particular delight!

Allison’s dialogue is witty, natural and youthful without falling back on the usual trappings of mentioning technology or social media. He manages to create some genuinely unique characters placing them in situations that capture the slice of life everyday routine of University living. One of the characters, Susan, declares just a few pages into the comic “Architecture! Feminism! We’re a walking advert for the Bechdel test”, as the girls discuss the sudden reappearance of a man from Susan’s past, the moustache sporting McGraw. Mentioning the infamous test of the same name Allison is quick to hang a lantern on the fact that this is a comic featuring young university aged girls already talking about a man. Daisy nicely sums up this issue best midway through the comic “Susan is a terrible tease” as we given tantalizing details throughout this debut issue into her mysterious past with new student McGraw as we too are left wondering if this will become the central driving force behind this series.


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