Review: Giant Days #24
When I was in college, probably one of my favorite parts of coming home for breaks or holidays was walking in and seeing a pantry and fridge just brimming with food and knowing that my mom could combine them into the tastiest things I’d had in months. In Giant Days #24, writer John Allison, artists Max Sarin and Liz Fleming, and colorist Whitney Cogar play on this momentous event and have Susan’s dad, Big Geoff, come to their flat for 3+ weeks to take care of her sick self. And along the way, there’s plenty of death (Shocking!) and meditations on the awesomeness/not awesomeness of having your parent return to take care of you as an adult.
Visually, Sarin and Fleming go straight for the gross out in the opening of Giant Days #24 where medical student Susan imagines herself as a living cadaver getting ready to be pried The panels wobble, and it’s obvious that it’s a dream, but somehow Susan finds herself kneeling voiceless in front of a skeleton. I definitely chuckled about the anatomy professor saying that Susan had the most decaying set of lungs in the British , and Susan’s incredibly snarky written responses Daisy and Esther as they call up Big Geoff to care for her.
Beginning with Sarin and Fleming’s design for him alone, Big Geoff is a great addition to the cast of Giant Days. Allison also gives him a mini arc and a lot more depth than just being a simple, doting dad as the comic progresses. At first, it seems that he’s just the typical nice dad, who rocks the hell out of a mustache and whose food gives Esther, Susan, and Daisy anime eyes and the general glow of health (Even if his morning bathroom). Unfortunately, he is much sadder than he seems on the outside with Susan’s mom kicking him to the Northampton, UK version of the dog house. Taking care of Susan through cinema trips and dad parkour to discover that their old crotchety neighbor was dead too his mind off the bad things in his life. As someone who recently moved out of their parents’ house, I felt a little uneasy about Daisy, Esther, and Susan’s dependence on Big Geoff, but this feeling just turned into sadness when he had his one on one heart to heart with Susan.
The deathly dream imagery and skulls that Max Sarin drew around the extremely sick Susan were actually clever foreshadowing as the old neighbor, who called the cops on their dinner party, passes away in Giant Days #24. It is insanely awkward to learn about the passing of someone, who you weren’t close to and definitely hated you. It is also a little sad to think about an old man dying alone surrounded by model planes and taxidermied animals. Susan even feels a little guilt that her coughing got him sick, but Big Geoff is there to reassure that he died from a stroke. The scene where Esther, Daisy, and Susan are at his memorial service is darkly hilarious for Esther’s super-Goth funeral get-up alone. This is her Super Bowl, and she gives a wonderful speech about the neighbor’s skill in stuffing dead ravens. Gallows humor is an amazing thing.
Giant Days #24 deals with some pretty serious issues like death, marital problems, and regressing back to childhood. (The looks on Daisy and Esther’s face when Ed tells them that Big Geoff is their butler is spectacular.) But John Allison, Max Sarin, Liz Fleming, and Whitney Cogar depict these issues in their usual quirky, yet deadpan way with plenty of funny cutaways like a heavenly image of Daisy and Esther losing their mind that they got to pick out their own snack at the movies instead of sharing a box of Raisinettes.
Story: John Allison Pencils: Max Sarin Inks: Liz Fleming Colors: Whitney Cogar
Story: 8.5 Art: 9 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy
BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review