The rock solid foundation of Giant Days has been the friendship between Daisy, Susan, and Esther. That is in jeopardy right now after Esther ripped into Daisy about her girlfriend, Ingrid. This is Daisy’s first real relationship and she’s doing whatever she can to cling to it and make it work, however it’s become trying not only for her, but everyone around her. Seeking help in mending these fences, the girls reach out to McGraw, who is dealing with his own fallout after the breakup with Emilia. All of this sounds very complicated, but I assure you, it flows incredibly well. This is one of the many reasons that Giant Days is one of my favorite comics on the stands today.
Writer John Allison nimbly bounces from one subject to the next, keeping each plate spinning at just the right speed. Each thread has a purpose and we may take our eyes off it for a moment, but it will always come back and get tied up. This sidetrack to McGraw is perfect as it offers a new perspective on everything that’s been going on between the three women. He’s an outsider that only wants them all to be happy.
More importantly, McGraw offers a tale of love and hardship from his past. Ironically enough, he was once in a very similar situation to Daisy’s, changing himself and neglecting his friends to spend time with his first real girlfriend. He had a moment of clarity and realized he’d given up everything made him who he was just to spend time with this girl and snapped out of it. Hopefully this gives Daisy some perspective, but she doesn’t have the same level of confidence that McGraw has, so it may be a tougher sell.
There is not a wasted moment in Giant Days as every image and line of dialogue leads to a payoff. Such is the case with the offhand remark Susan makes about Daisy and McGraw’s shared love of pool halls. This comes back as the duo try to hustle some rugby boys in billiards. Artist Max Sarin’s depiction of this is nothing short of incredible. Daisy is playing it up, acting like a drunk co-ed and fumbling over the pool table only to suddenly become a pro when the money’s on the line. The rugby fans are struggling to come to grips with this amidst their raging testosterone.
One of the strengths of Giant Days is how true the characters are to themselves. There are certain aspects to each of them that are incredibly strong and always reliable for a laugh. For example, there’s a great interaction between Daisy and McGraw, where she’s explaining how she installed a shelf with nails. McGraw cannot hide his shock and disgust at the very idea that someone would hang a shelf with nails instead of screws. It boggles his mind.
The amount of plot threads tied up with Giant Days #31 is actually pretty impressive. Allison deals with the fallout of the Daisy and Esther fight, the McGraw / Emilia breakup, and the outrageous heating bill created by Ingrid. It all happens so seamlessly. Even with all these neat little bows being created, there are still massive areas set up to be explored in further issues. How will Ingrid react to this new dynamic? Will Emilia’s family hunt down McGraw for revenge? I cannot wait to see how this all plays out. Why does this book only come out once a month?