Daisy, Esther, and Susan face the end of an era as their second year at university comes to a close along with their time together as roommates. While packing and grades are important, the big obstacle Daisy has to deal with is Ingrid. Daisy has finally decided to bring up with her enigmatic foreign girlfriend. What a way to end the year.
This is a pretty big deal for Daisy as Ingrid was her first girlfriend. She represents her initial entry into finding herself as a lesbian and she’s afraid to let that go. Plus, Daisy is just such a nice person all around, so conflict isn’t her strong suit. With the help of her roommates, she tirelessly prepares for the emotional fallout. Ingrid’s reaction is, much like Ingrid herself, rather unpredictable.
The standout for Giant Days #36 is the aftermath of the break up. Daisy goes through a myriad of emotions as a result of this severed connection and we witness all of them play out. There’s an initial joy of freeing herself of this uncomfortable weight, then fear of being alone, and regret for breaking up with Ingrid, and more. There’s a terrific line that sums it up well. “Breaking up with Ingrid is exactly the same as being with Ingrid.”
Artist Max Sarin captures these manic mood swings wonderfully. A smiling cartoon sun shines down on Daisy as she walks down the street with tears and snot running down her face. Everywhere she turns she sees people in love. Perhaps the finest moment comes when she returns home and with a look of determination, paints over the awkward nude portrait Ingrid had painted on her wall. She literally and figuratively covers up the memory of her now ex-girlfriend. It’s a powerful scene that works so well.
The follow up to this is a bout of depression which is shown in a great nine panel grid. Each panel shows a similar shot of Daisy’s bed as days pass. She sinks deeper into darkness for a bit, lashing out with anger at her adorable rubber ducky alarm clock, before coming out the other end with some closure.
Colorist Whitney Cogar puts Daisy in shadow towards the beginning of this sequence, mirroring her emotion. By the end, the sun is shining again and she’s ready to face the world. It’s a really beautiful setup that shows how the comic book medium can tell so much on the page. This could have been a tired old montage in film or television. Here it speaks volumes.
While the breakup takes up a large portion of Giant Days #36, there are a number of smaller plot threads that are tied up as well. Writer John Allison is nothing if not efficient in his storytelling. He even finds time to set up some major moments for the next phase of the series, leaving us plenty to look forward to.
This issue represents the end of the second year of Giant Days. It reminds me that despite how much I want it to, the series will eventually have to end because Daisy, Esther, and Susan will graduate from university. For now, I will relish in their wacky adventures as every single chapter of this comic has put a smile on my face.