For perhaps the first time, Daisy, Susan, and Esther are realizing that their college days are numbered. The Sheffield University Graduate job fair is putting some things in perspective for them, showing what opportunities they may or may not have when they complete their education and enter the real world.
The personalities on display in Giant Days #39 are incredible. Daisy and Esther go to the fair together and they could not be more different. The former is prepared with a pre-written resume and a lot of appointments scheduled, while the latter is just winging it. I would expect nothing less from either of them.
We’ve seen this dynamic play out over the course of the series, but the stakes seem higher now that the girls are about to enter the job market. Daisy is very concerned for her friend which is good because Esther has no concerns whatsoever. You have to admire her free spirit, but that could very easily get crushed once she leaves college.
I can understand where Esther is coming from. None of this is real to her yet. She seems like the complete opposite of someone that would fit into a 9-to-5 job, so she comes at this from a very different angle. This is unlike anything these job fair folks have encountered. They’re used to throwing out buzz words and corporate jargon to mystify excited applicants. They don’t know what to do with someone that doesn’t care about any of that.
All of this is like a game for Esther. The first day of the job fair is like playing dress-up. She’s there in a business suit with her hair up, but still sporting tights covered in skulls. There’s a look of complete confidence on her face as she struts into the hall. This is like night and day when she returns later on with the realization that none of those jobs would fit for her at all. Reality is setting in and it frightens her a bit. Artist Julia Madrigal really hammers home the differences between the two phases. The wind has been taken from Esther’s sails.
There is just the right amount of cartoony gags in Giant Days #39. Madrigal balances this perfectly, jumping from serious moments like the aforementioned realization from Esther to something completely wacky like Susan steamrolling across town to come to Daisy’s aid.
Speaking of Susan, there are some great moments between her and her boyfriend, McGraw. On the surface, he seems like a dry, almost emotionless man, obsessed with building and fixing things. Here we get some scenes where he shows just how much he loves Susan and what he’s willing to do to stay with her. It befuddles Susan at times, but she clearly appreciates the gesture. These few sequences quickly became my favorite of the issue, in a comic packed full of great scenes. Well done, John Allison.
Giant Days #39 forces me to confront the fact that the girls’ time at university is going to end someday. I’m not ready to accept that fact because this is hands down one of my favorite comics. For now, I’m going to read through this issue again and just wallow in every fun joke and expressive outburst.