Paperback, 128 pages
Published December 1st 2015 by BOOM! Box
- Oooh, how I have missed writing reviews in point form. I know there are people who will die a little at the idea of limiting yourself to this format but hey–
- they are not me and I will use this format any way I want. It’s fun, right? I hope it is.
- Anyway, today I am here to talk about Giant Days, the comic series I started last week (or whenever, I don’t know when this post is going up).
- The premise is rather simple–three girls meet at University (in England, I believe, somewhere in England) and become close friends (they live next to each other in the dorm). The comic series will chronicle their adventures in university.
- Why is this premise so new?
- Think about it.
- Usually, you have university stories about guys. How guys navigate the hallowed hallways of academic and come into their own. A distorted bildungsroman framed by privilege and relative social mobility. It’s not often you get to read about girls in the same context. They are still socially mobile and still privileged (attending university is a privilege) (I’m putting it out there in case there’s some conflict).
- Susan, Esther, and Daisy are the protagonists of the series and they are about as different from each other as they can get. Susan is a premed student who brags that she’s the one who keeps Esther and Daisy tied to normalcy and the real world though as the series continues you very much see that this may not be the case.
- Esther is supremely beautiful but strange and has had her heartbroken quite horribly so she is often mired in love troubles.
- Daisy is a sweet sheltered girl who is ripe for the corruption and vice that universities are known for.
- Volume one deals with some very interesting things–one of them the sexism that is rife in English universities (there is a lot of evidence of this, look it up). Some male students take pictures of Esther and publish the pictures in a website dedicated to evaluating women based purely on their physical attributes. When Esther complains to the dean (or a white man in charge) she is told essentially that there is no harm in what the boys are doing–they’re just having fun and Esther needs to loosen up.
- Right. Can you imagine how infuriating that is? I have seen evidence of this in real life and read the comments accompanying pictures of unsuspecting people who fail to live up to society’s standards of beauty on popular social media. People think it’s okay to judge a person on the size of their butt and do not see how wrong it is to objectify a person–a person we might not know but a person who might, God forbid, come across the unflattering picture of herself and read the comments that people free to leave.
- I’m getting distracted but my point is, Giant Days deals with it and I like that the issue is covered in such bald terms and there is no magical happy-fying way to end the arc. Susan uses slightly less than conventional methods to resolve the infraction but the fact that Esther’s complaint held no weight with the authority is substantial.
- Another arc that I enjoyed Daisy’s heartbreak when the girl she likes doesn’t like her back. Esther, being the outraged friend she is, takes umbrage at what she perceives as the girl’s teasing and confronts the girl with this. The girl simply replies that she does like girls but she simply doesn’t see Daisy in that way.
- Often it seems that two characters only need to be gay/lesbians at the same time for sparks to fly and I find that this is not really the accurate way of depicting romance no matter who the players in the romance are. People have types and are attracted to different kinds of people and I’m not making sense here but look at it this way. Just because two people are straight doesn’t mean they should be in love with each other. Right?
- I liked this.
- I also like that the narrative is so aware of itself. The girls are smart and their conversations reflect this.
- Also Susan is just strange but then they all are.
- Her arch-nemesis, someone who sparks in her the deepest rage and ire ever, transfers to their university and the readers are left wondering what heinous thing the guy did to have Susan react in the manner she does.
- And then you find out.
- Hah, I won’t give it away but Susan is fun.
- If you are looking for something that is fresh, smart, and a little more serious than standard YA fare, this should be right up your alley.
- I wouldn’t call this ‘new adult’ because I have no fondness for that term but I will say that the book will make a great gift for someone who’s starting university. Or who has finished finished university. Or who likes reading.
- Yeah, let’s just leave it at that.