Giant Days #40 Contains Emotional Tension You Could Cut With A Knife

by James Ferguson

Ed Gemmell has returned to Sheffield. He’s still in a cast since he broke both his ankles from falling off a wall after telling Esther he loved her. Is he ready for the huge amount of awkwardness that awaits, since she’s now his housemate? Is she? Just how long can they dance around the elephant in the room? It’s rather cramped because Ed basically lives in a closet.

The drama in Giant Days knows no bounds. Writer John Allison has completely pulled me into the personal relationships between these characters more than any sitcom ever has. Giant Days #40 bounces between the perspectives of both Ed and Esther as they grapple with what to do next. How do you possibly start this conversation? There’s no easy way to jump into it.

Allison gets the most out of this back-and-forth, dragging out the tension just enough before finally delivering the confrontation. The result is an open and honest chat between two friends that shows a lot of growth on both sides. It only took some broken bones to do it. In perfectly structured fashion, the conclusion is totally unexpected and opens things up for even more juicy drama.

Artist Max Sarin creates a range of emotions in each character as they go through a sort of path to acceptance. Only Ed and Esther know the truth about that fateful night. You can see the gears turning in their head as they talk about each other to Daisy, Susan, and McGraw. As the reader, we see how each facial expression carries some additional meaning.

Although this is an Ed & Esther heavy issue, the other characters get plenty of time to shine. In fact, some of the best jokes come from them. Giant Days continues to be a brilliantly paced, evenly structured comic in this regard. The ensemble cast works well together and each scene pulls in individuals as needed to keep the story going. We also get some new interactions, like Daisy and McGraw who share an interesting love for crafts.

To add to the fun, Ed has a new woman after his heart in Nina. The rugby-playing redhead has the hots for Mr. Gemmell and makes her intentions crystal clear. Colorist Whitney Cogar creates some nice contrast here between Nina and Esther. They’re both pale-skinned, but Nina feels full of energy and ready to pounce on Ed. Esther is a little more demure with her jet black hair, however comes across as very sweet and caring, like she’s trying to be gentle with Ed, knowing the fragile position their friendship is in.

Ed’s life is not just relationship drama. His friends convert his tiny, depressing room into a great living space with some creativity and ingenuity. Letterer Jim Campbell highlights these with special caption boxes with arrows pointing out each fun detail.

Just when I thought Giant Days reached peak emotional drama levels, it ends with a jaw-dropping cliffhanger that I did not see coming. This catapults the series into new areas of sitcom-style hijinks. I am counting down the days until the next issue.

Giant Days #40 from Boom! Studios is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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