There are not many subjects Esther excels at academically. I don’t think they teach goth culture and fashion at this particular university. She is in her element when it comes to Romantic Literature. How does she react when Emilia, McGraw’s new girlfriend joins the class and starts showing her up? Meanwhile, Daisy tries to set up the all-new, all-different Ed Gemmell on a date.
Giant Days #29 from Boom! Studios continues to show the adventures of these young women in college in the most natural and fun way. They’re like the characters in Archie in this regard. Esther’s favorite class is ruined when Emilia swoops in, but in reality, the two are butting heads because they’re so much alike. If Esther accepted that, she’d make a new friend. The wrinkle is how this would make Susan feel as McGraw is an ex. Based on the previous issue, I think she’s okay with it.
Of the three main characters, Esther is my favorite and not just because I used to be a goth kid. She has this energy to her that is undeniable. It pulls you in. She sports some preppy clothing in the Romantic Literature class, described as “Goth-Kingsley-Amis-Chic” but the long skirts and sweaters can’t hide who she really is. Artist Max Sarin adds these little hints. Her glasses are adorned with little skulls and another skull is pinned to the neck of her sweater. Her inner goth is still showing.
Sarin delivers some fantastic facial expressions on every single character too. You get an immediate sense of who they are and what they’re thinking based on the looks they’re giving. So much of the personality comes through here. It can be a little over-the-top in some points, but that just adds to the enjoyment of the series.
The B plot of Daisy and Ed Gemmel features a similar identity crisis. Ed has been unlucky at love since the series began so he tries to reinvent himself in perhaps the oddest way possible, by wearing overalls and putting a braid in his hair. I guess I shouldn’t judge this too much. As mentioned earlier, I used to be a goth kid, complete with long hair, JNCO jeans, and black t-shirts with white words written on them like “Allergic to sunlight.”
Ed feels lost and depressed. He’s a romantic and wants desperately to be with someone, but he doesn’t want just anyone. He’s pined after Esther before and in reality, they’d probably be pretty good for each other, but that just hasn’t lined up. This is unfortunate because he’s such a great guy. His self esteem has taken such a beating lately that he just can’t see that yet.
This comes through in his very appearance too. While the braid controls some of his hair, the rest is wild and unkempt. He looks like he just got back from a music festival. His lack of confidence is shown in his slouched posture and shrugged shoulders. You kind of want to just give him a hug, although you’d probably take a quick shower after.
Giant Days is one of the most consistently stellar comics on the stands today and issue #29 is no exception. Writer John Allison has created such natural characters that feel like old friends. It’s like a great sitcom in that Susan, Daisy, and Esther are invited into our homes each month so that we can witness their continuing adventures through higher education. That just reminded me that sooner or later they’ll graduate and the series will presumably end. I hope that doesn’t happen for a long time.