Ed Gemmell Saves A Snag In Giant Days: Where Women Glow And Men Plunder

by James Ferguson

Ed Gemmel finally has a girlfriend and he’s celebrating the holidays by visiting her down under. Wait. That came out wrong. Get your mind out of the gutter. She’s from Australia! This should be a trip of happiness and fun, but Ed is stressed out because Nina’s friends and family are all huge manly men and Ed is well…not that. The poor guy is so very out of his element, but he’s able to lend a hand – or brain – in solving a local mystery.

Giant Days is one of my favorite comics so I’m always excited when we get an extra issue, let alone an oversized holiday special. Where Women Glow and Men Plunder is the latest in a long line of these and it’s something to look forward to every year. This one is an added treat as it’s written and illustrated by creator John Allison. Unsurprisingly, his artistic style is a perfect fit for Giant Days because…you know…he made it in the first place.
The real standout in Allison’s artwork are the facial expressions. They add a whole other level to the humor, ranging from Nina’s mischievous grin to Ed’s near constant look of discomfort. The other Australians go about like everything they’re seeing and doing is completely normal. This is just an average day in their world much to the shock and dismay of Ed.

The comedy is as on point as ever in this special. It works with a number of angles too. Part of it comes through in the Australian lingo that I was completely unfamiliar with prior to reading this. Fortunately, I didn’t have to look anything up, but there were a few sequences where I had to read over again to fully understand it. This is especially true for the “longest ever snag” which was to be revealed at the annual regatta. It turns out “snag” means sausage. There’s some clever word play in the dialogue throughout the book.
You can feel Ed’s stress level on nearly every page. Letterer Jim Campbell adds some bold text to highlight significant words in the dialogue and Ed’s internal narration. The poor kid wants to be liked by these guys so very much so he’s putting so much pressure on himself.

Some local boys launch into a heist of sorts to ruin the regatta. They are easily some of the dumbest characters around and that makes them so funny to read. They’re entirely clueless as to what they’re doing and just get wrapped up in everything. This makes them easy to outwit and this happens in the most hilarious way.
It’s a little strange to think that this is a holiday special with how warm and inviting everything looks. I’m used to a bitter cold December, so I forget that it’s the opposite in Australia. Colorist Whitney Cogar creates an environment of warmth and life. If it weren’t for the handful of Christmas trees around, you’d think this was a summer comedy. I guess it kind of is because it’s summer in Australia, right?

When Ed and Nina’s relationship started, it felt a little off to me, like this shouldn’t work out. Giant Days: Where Women Glow and Men Plunder puts any doubts aside and shows just how great this couple can be. The final page really seals the deal in such an affirming way. This range of emotions, going from laugh-out-loud humor to beautiful moments of love, is what makes Giant Days such a great comic.
Giant Days: Where Women Glow and Men Plunder from Boom! Studios is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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