Giant Days follows three college freshmen, Susan, Esther and Daisy. As the comic starts, they’ve been in school only about three weeks and have made fast friends with one another. Susan is our narrator. She’s smart and feministy and has a temper. Esther is very pale, pretty and “practically consumptive.” Daisy and Susan are constantly teasing her (good-naturedly) about her flair for drama. Daisy is a little bit naive, but isn’t a prude, and isn’t afraid to try new things. They are all very funny.
One of the best things about the comic is that within the span of a few pages, you know these characters absurdly well. It’s also a very well-done college story. It walks the fine balance of putting the girls in familiar situations that you might remember from your own college days (or that you are currently living, you dang youngins)–getting sick at the same time, milestone birthdays, or making bets with your friends over very dumb things–and upping the ante on those situations to make them interesting stories to read about. If someone illustrated my college days, nobody would buy it.
I’m not exactly sure what the phrase “giant days” is referring to, but what this comic reminded me most strongly of is the feeling of those rare friendships you can only seem to find in places like college, where very dissimilar people are forced together for long periods of time and end up forming lifelong bonds. The very first issue even opens up with the girls laying around, wondering if they ever would have been friends in another situation.
I also want to shout out to my favorite character, McGraw, Susan’s nemesis, who is very tall and has a moustache that makes him look he just walked straight out of the 1970s. Even while Susan is busy hating him (for mysterious reasons,) I find him extremely lovable. Actually, I find them all lovable, so now I will stop writing this review and go read Vol. 2.