Title: Giant Days
Authors: John Allison, Lissa Treiman, Whitney Cogar
Genre: Contemporary, humour
Publisher: BOOM! Box
Pushlishing Date: 2015 – present
My rating: Volume 1: *** Volume 2: ****
This is an odd one, to me, because it’s a graphic novel that’s contemporary/realistic fiction, which I don’t see much at all! Giant Days follows three girls (and as the story goes on, two boys) as they start university. It feels a little different to other graphic novels, as most graphic novels follow one main plotline throughout all of the issues, which develops and goes on throughout the series. This graphic novel feels more like a TV show. Each single issue within each volume is a story by itself, it has a beginning, middle, and end, and whatever the main plot point or problem was gets resolved in that issue. The main progression throughout the issues is just them adjusting to general university life, time goes on, a couple of issues in the second volume sees them go home for the winter holidays, and then each issue contains its own mini-story, so it really feels like episodes of a TV show.
I was a little iffy about this at first as I wasn’t prepared for it and the whole thing felt a little off, but once I realised what was going on I found I actually really enjoy it! It generally feels like quite a relaxing graphic novel to read, which might sound odd, but a lot of graphic novels have big, exciting, complicated, action-packed plots that I have to keep up with and remember until the next volume comes out – but this felt like I could just sit down and watch a short, fun, funny episode of something, and just read one issue of the volume at a time.
I really love what this graphic novel is trying to do – which is, really, show what it can be like to start university for three very different people. (Plus – it’s set here in England, which I LOVE.) One character is strong, stubborn, and studios (I will not say nerdy!), another is dramatic, flaky, boy-obsessed, and a goth, and the final character is very innocent, quiet, and is still trying to figure out who she is. All of these characters are so different and represent so many different people, which is great, and they all get along so well, which makes it so fun to read.
Here’s my issue with classing this as ‘humour’ – I’ve done it here because it’s done on goodreads and because I do think it’s important to point out how funny this is. But it doesn’t feel like the writers are really trying to make me laugh, or cracking jokes. It just feels like they’re writing about people – and people are funny! People like to make their friends laugh! So while I do find this graphic novel funny, I think classing it as humour wouldn’t be quite right.
What I really love about this graphic novel is that it’s so character focused, where most graphic novels I read are plot focused. There is a lot of plot and a lot of mini-stories, of course, but the main focus really is on the people and their relationships with each other and other students. So far, it’s covered a bunch of important topics for university-aged people, from exploring your sexuality to realising that you do actually have to study if you want to not fail.
I feel like this did take a few issues to really get going, but by issue 3/4 it was really in its stride, which is why I gave volume 2 a higher rating than volume 1. I have really high hopes for the next one, which comes out in November! I really feel like if graphic novels usually aren’t your thing, maybe give this one a go, because it’s pretty different!
Have you read this? Does it sound like something you’d want to pick up?