Cover to 'Giant Days' #28. Art by Max Sarin and Liz Fleming/BOOM! Studios

Cover to ‘Giant Days’ #28. Art by Max Sarin and Liz Fleming/BOOM! Studios

By Justin SawyerGiant Days centers on the challenges and triumphs of university friends Daisy, Susan, and Esther. In this issue, Daisy and Esther believe that someone has been breaking into the garage attached to their rental house, a sitcom premise that’s elevated by genuine character relationships and hilarious back and forth dialogue. Whedon, in his prime, might have been proud of it.

Let’s get this out of the way. Giant Days is one of the best damn books published today. Period. End of review. Still here? Guess you’ll want specifics. Fine!

John Allison’s dialogue is phenomenal, but what really grounds his stories is the way he writes relationships. So many narratives only focus on the pursuit of love as a means of rising action, climaxing (snicker) once the protagonist and their romantic interest hook up. Allison has zero time for that nonsense, focusing instead on real — and relatable — issues. Daisy’s worries about being overshadowed by her outgoing girlfriend Ingrid is a valid concern for a lot of people. The situation isn’t resolved, but it’s great kernel for dramatic tension down the line.

Interior page to 'Giant Days' #28. Art by Max Sarin, Liz Fleming, and Whitney Cogar/BOOM! Studios

Interior page to ‘Giant Days’ #28. Art by Max Sarin, Liz Fleming, and Whitney Cogar/BOOM! Studios

As for the art, Max Sarin is one of the finest cartoonists working in comics today. I use the word “cartoonist” because dynamic energy abounds in every single expression and gesture that Sarin renders on the page. During a dream sequence further into the issue, Sarin’s panel layouts, with their odd angles and twisting, shifting stairways, help us delve into the mindsets of the sleep-deprived, emotionally overtaxed Esther and Daisy. There are too few artists that are brave enough to apply risks when it comes to panel layouts. Sarin is one such risk taker, someone who manages to never sacrifice story and clarity for the sake of style.

If there is one complaint to be charged against this issue of Giant Days, it’d have to be that the issue feels short, as though there were more story and more laughs to be had within the confines of its pages. Trade paperbacks have become the essential format for character driven stories like Giant Days. But, if you can’t wait for a nice big trade, these single issues should be sweet enough morsels to tide you over.

BOOM! Studios/$3.99

Written by John Allison.

Art by Max Sarin.

Inks by Liz Fleming.

Colors by Whitney Cogar.

Letters by Jim Campbell.

7 out of 10