Friday, 14 July 2017

Giant Days, Volume 7 Review (John Allison, Max Sarin)

I’ve just emerged from the longest dry spell of reading any quality books I’d rate four stars or above in years - it’s been over a MONTH! So thank goodness that a new Giant Days arc drops just when I think I’ve got anhedonia. Seven - SEVEN! - books in and this title is still first class all the way. HOW ARE YOU DOING THIS, YOU MAD GENIUS JOHN ALLISON!!!?! Seriously, no other comics series I’ve read has been this consistently good. 

In Volume 7, Susan goes back to Northampton at Christmastime to play matchmaker to her estranged parents, McGraw and Ed Gemmell are aghast to discover their insufferable housemate Dean Thompson has found love, Esther dabbles in protesting, and Daisy has her first relationship fight with Ingrid. 

Every issue is a gem. I loved meeting Susan’s whole family and how she tried rallying all of her older sisters (she’s the youngest) to bring Big Geoff and her mum back together. I like how John Allison can be so funny but also throw in moments of stark pathos. Susan’s mum talks about how the estrangement happened - “Forty years of tiny crimes rattling round an empty house” - and it rings so true without seeming awkwardly placed amidst the comedy. And Big Geoff is always wunnerful! 

Artist Max Sarin continues to draw everything perfectly. She takes us into Dean Thompson’s fantasy online game during his whirlwind romance story for an imaginative change of pace. Then she gives us a panel that stuck out to me for being so weirdly funny for some reason: McGraw eavesdropping on Dean’s chat with his lady friend with Allison quipping “She passed the Turing test”! The warped dreamtime panels when the girls set out to uncover the mystery of their locked garage was delightfully trippy too. 

Usually I can’t stand the kind of smug, self-satisfied idiots who protest but Allison turned Esther into one for an issue and still made me love her - that’s how bonkers talented this writer is! 

I think the day I stop enjoying Giant Days is the day I give up comics for good. If you’re stuck amidst mediocrity to read, find these beautiful books of brilliance to briefly brighten up your brain! Like the other six Giant Days volumes, Volume 7 is a home-run. I can’t recommend this title more - it’s the full package!

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