Review: Giant Days #26
In the hilarious Giant Days #26, writer John Allison, artists Max Sarin and Liz Fleming, and colorist Whitney Cogar turn their attention to the lads of the comic. McGraw and Ed are having some major flatmate issues with Dean, whose Heisenberg-like cooking experiments have made their house quite dank. He also has a girlfriend now, which is the subject of this issue’s plot and a lot of the comedy. Along the way, Allison takes some playful potshots at geek culture, explores the pain of romantic relationship, and Sarin and Fleming get to draw Daisy as a unicorn.
On a purely comedic level, Giant Days delivers each month thanks to Allison’s deadpan wit playing off Sarin and Fleming’s outrageous facial expressions and the fact that we’ve gotten to know a lot about the main cast for the past two years. Ed and McGraw are the main focus of Giant Days #26 with McGraw’s traditional, yet not toxic masculinity bouncing off Ed’s adorkableness. This can be seen in their solution to deal with Dean with McGraw building a special filtration to system so Dean’s sauerkraut/bacteria stench doesn’t reach his room while Ed just eats off a special plate and sleeps next to the garbage cans. But they have a real cameraderie in teaming up to find out if Dean’s girlfriend is real and not some kind of sentient A.I. or catfish. Posy is, in fact, real, looks like a professional steampunk cosplayer, and has him completely wrapped around her thumb. Whitney Cogar gives her a shock of red hair that makes every panel she appears in a little bit more over the top.
Even though Dean is definitely not the most likable character, but Allison, Sarin, and Fleming portray him as a human with emotions. (Albeit a human being who is obsessed with an MMO dedicated to medieval era trade professions, 1990s Bad Girl comic book art, and rocks a Hello Kitty surgical mask.) He has never been in a romantic relationship before and doesn’t understand that dropping over 300 pounds on collectibles from the comic book store, selling one’s entire comic book collection, and proposing marriage aren’t normal things you do in the first week of a relationship. He enjoys smooching and gaming with Posy, but Sarin and Fleming are careful to show the sadness and cold sweat on Dean’s face as he realizes that he is completely out of his depth. Dean thinks he’ll never find love and settles for Posy, which is pretty sad.
Luckily, Esther has his back, and there’s payoff (And a great line from Ed comparing her to Rogue from the X-Men.) for him teaching a thing or two about nerd trivia to get her a job at the comic book store. Ed and McGraw may have the biggest arcs in Giant Days #26, but the entire main ensemble gets a shining moment of comedy and drama in the end as they react to Dean and Posy’s in-game “wedding”. This extended sequence also lets Max Sarin and Liz Fleming go all Barry Windsor-Smith meets Katie Cook and draw the Giant Days cast as various fantasy archetypes and even do a kick-ass action scene. Whitney Cogar also gets to indulge in a brighter color palette for the video game part.
Giant Days #26 is a comic where a character’s reaction to a gross, green smell can lead to a chuckle or full out laugh thanks to the humorous art of Max Sarin, Liz Fleming, and Whitney Cogar. John Allison also continues to be a master of telling a story with a large cast by focusing on small groups of characters in the beginning and paying off with big moments in the end like a skilled sitcom showrunner. This comic is worth picking up for seeing Daisy as a unicorn alone.
Story: John Allison Pencils: Max Sarin Inks: Liz Fleming Colors: Whitney Cogar
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.3 Recommendation: Buy
BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review