Book Review: Giant Days – Volume 8 by John Allison


Image Description: image – The top half of the cover has titles and creator credits in orange text. The background of the image is an indigo-blue. The main focus of the cover is an image of Susan (posing dramatically), one hand to her chest, her eyes closed and holding a skull in the palm of her other hand.

Title: Giant Days, Volume 8
Creators: John Allison (author), Max Sarin (illustrations), Whitney Cogar (colourist), Liz Fleming (inker)
Social Media: Goodreads
Publisher: BOOM! Box
Format and Price: Paperback from my local library
Stars: 5 stars out of 5

About The Creators:
John Allison: John Allison is the author and artist of the British webcomics Scary Go Round and Bad Machinery.

Max Sarin: Freelance illustrator and comic artist goofing around and enjoying life.

Whitney Cogar: Whitney Cogar is a freelance illustrator based in Savannah, Georgia. She specializes in sequential art, such as comics and storyboards. She is a colourist for the 2017 Steven Universe comic series and has also done storyboards and art assets for the film “The Conspirator” as well as art assets for the film “X-Men: First Class”.

Liz Fleming: Liz Fleming is an award-winning travel writer who writes a weekly and a monthly travel column for The Toronto Star, regular features for Cruise and Travel Lifestyles Magazine and a travel column for TripAtlas.com

About The Book:
Best friends Susan, Daisy, and Esther’s adventures at university continue in Giant Days Vol. 8. It’s the end of the second year for best mates Susan, Daisy, and Esther, and cracks are appearing in the foundation of this unshakeable trio. Between (irritating) new loves, (secretive) old loves, (unlikely) new friendships and (terrible) old houses, they’ll be lucky to make it to the third year alive!

John Allison (Bad Machinery, Scary Go Round) and illustrators Max Sarin and Liz Fleming shepherd us through another action-packed semester in Giant Days Volume 8, which collects Issues #29-32 of the Eisner Award-nominated series.

General Observation:
~Character Conflict – Part 1: As this is a graphic novel series that focuses on Character Development, the conflict aspects are mostly between characters, and they’re pretty good sources of legitimate conflict. The main conflict of the last couple of volumes has been Ingrid’s presence in the group house. Susan and Esther want Daisy to happy, however, Ingrid is difficult to live with. Most of these problems stem from an unwillingness to confront Ingrid on her behaviour and lay basic ground rules for when she stays over.

This is standard room-mate/share-house stuff and, from my personal experience and observations of others, people are not good with handling this type of situation. Naturally, it begins to fester between Susan and Esther, which leads to Esther eventually snapping, and telling Daisy how she feels about Ingrid. Daisy interprets this behaviour to mean that Susan and Esther hate Ingrid and this foreshadows a future problem for Daisy, eventually, Daisy is going to have to decide which relationship is more important to her, her relationship with Ingrid or her friendship with Esther and Susan.

~Character Conflict – Part 2: Another source of conflict for the volume was Susan and McGraw getting back together (Yay!). It was hinted at in the previous volume and the consequences were realistic. Eventually, Susan and McGraw both agree that McGraw should break up with Emilia, however, while this development with Susan and McGraw has been going on the background, Esther and Emilia have grown closer together and have become friends. While McGraw does receive most of the fall-out for ending the relationship between himself and Emilia (something he acknowledges that he deserves), unfortunately, he wasn’t the only one affected by the break-up.

The creators could have gone the tired-and-easy route of having the blow-back affect only Susan, however, they decided to go with a different approach. Susan is mostly spared, with McGraw dealing with most of it, however, Ed and Esther ended up getting caught in the cross-fire as well. Now, the situation with Esther could be seen as a little unfair, after all as soon as she knew about Susan and McGraw sneaking around, Esther confronted Susan on her behaviour. The thing is, to me, Emilia’s reaction of terminating the friendship is also understandable.

~Character Analysis: I enjoy panels that focus on Daisy and Ed’s friendship, Daisy is hilarious and, in this volume, she is trying to set Ed up with someone. My interpretation of the situation is that Ed doesn’t really know what he wants and, given the fact that the graphic novel is set in University, this is perfectly understandable. I’m not sure if this is just me, however, it seems like a bit of meta-commentary, like the creators are uncertain of what to do with Ed. I’m okay with this. I’m sure the creators and Ed will figure it out.

All in all, an excellent addition to the series, and it seems as though the girls are going to have to make some serious Adult Choices fairly soon. I’m looking forward to the next volume.

Available for Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

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