Giant Days #1
Writer/Creator: John Allison
Artist/Cover: Lissa Treiman
Colors: Whitney Cogar
Letters: Jim Campbell
Boom! Box is a pretty new (last few years) imprint of Boom! Studios that promises creative, experimental, and cheerful fun. All of those words describe this book very well. Giant Days was originally a webcomic that was released as a spinoff of another of John Allison's webcomics, Scary Go Round. Besides those two series, he also has the series Bobbins and Bad Machinery under his belt, both of which are very successful (check them out at http://scarygoround.com/). Lissa Treiman is a great partner to his writing with a style that screams fun. She has previously been the story artist for Big Hero 6, Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph (each of which have impressive art books with a similar style to this comic). You can view some more of her work at her Tumblr, http://lissabt.tumblr.com/. So what do you get when these two awesome creators get together? Don't worry, I'll tell you.
In The Book...
Giant Days is a slice of life story that revolves around three female college students: the insecure and innocent Daisy Wooten, the curious and dramatic Esther de Groot, and the confident somewhat standoffish Susan Ptolemy (I seriously love that last name by the way). The trio all live together and are buds working on their classes as well as trying to survive the random misadventures and happenstance of Esther. In this issue, Susan and Esther place a bet that if Esther doesn't cause any problems for anyone for one week she gets to doll up Susan. If Esther loses the best, she must give Susan an epic massage. Susan is pretty confident in her chances, but when someone from her past shows up, things get complicated.
This issue gives each of the three ladies a very distinct voice. It also conveys that they are friends, though some are more confident in the friendship than others. We also begin to see some of the quirks that make the main cast original, and they range from silly to bizarre. It is so nice to read a story where the world isn't in peril and there aren't 7000 dimensions to worry about (though their is a hint of some occult activity in the story), but rather a story about three friends living their lives and making it through each day as happily as possible. I am unfamiliar with much of Allison's work, however I can tell you that this is a great issue. I was impressed by how easy it was to become attached to the characters and his ability to make them feel very real. He brings a lot of fun to the dialogue and a sense of kinship that is sort of heartwarming but will also make you a little nostalgic for college days.
Treiman gives further life to these characters, making the reader understand each by matching their dialogue with a perfect look. Esther's appearance is pretty goth but she also has a strong air of fun around her, Daisy wears glasses and postures herself with a sense of innocence and naivete, and Susan has eyes that are rarely opened all of the way and slouches a bit, pronouncing how cool and confident she carries herself. Besides just capturing the characters' personalities to a T through general look, Treiman also handles the outfits and hairstyles to further match the attitudes. No two hairstyles are the same, even on the background characters, and from hoodies to t-shirts to shoes, each character has a unique fashion sense. The sketched backgrounds provide a sense of the school's campus without going into any unnecessary detail, and Cogar's colors further emphasize the school environments while adding fun tones for an even broader sense of character definition.
Boom! Box' Giant Days#1 is experimental in the sense that not many month to month comics feature life so prominently. The plot of the mini series hasn't been fully explained yet and this issue doesn't give a ton of synopsis away, however you don't need it to. Allison and Treiman provide memorable/likable characters with fun quarks in an environment that many people will understand. Giant Days #1 (of 6) was released on 3/18 for $3.99. Pick it up for some real fun!