Throughout Wondercon programming, there are occasional “Spotlight on..” panels featuring a comic artist, comic writer, or creator. These panels are one on one conversations between the panelist and the attendees. They are great for fans of the panelists or those who are unfamiliar with them. They are my one of my favorite go-tos for programming as they provide unique experiences to further cement admiration for the panelist or to learn something new. It’s even more interesting when I wandered into one by pure accident. Hence how I was introduced to Lissa Treiman.
Lissa Treiman is the illustrator for Giant Days, which I have chosen to review just because of that panel. First impressions of Lissa was this quiet, calm, and confident professional. She remarked on her history of storyboarding and the business. As her artwork was projected on the screen in front of the room, her shyness and nerves became apparent with each rapid scrolling. Even so, something about her style drew my attention and the desire to read what Giant Days is all about.
Within a few pages of reading Giant Days, I made an immediate comparison between Lissa and one of the characters, Susan. Both have this exterior of calm but beneath they are simmering balls of energy and passion. Lissa’s illustrations reflect the restless spirit and also harkens to the style that I found between the pages of a Roald Dahl book. This style was perfect for Giant Days as this was a series of stories between college buddies trying to maintain as much order as possible in the chaos surrounding them.
Three women hit the roommate lottery as they became instant friends despite such drastic personality difference. There is Susan Ptolemy, a frazzled passionate person who is deceptively laid back, the ever optimistic and naive Daisy Wooten, and the gothic but surprisingly chipper, Esther de Groot. The three bond together as they deal with the mundane, yet not really mundane, life of college students. There are sicknesses to battle, dealing with exes, and preventing relatives from noticing that you are incredibly hungover.
Mundane life.This college slice of life comic really reminds me of “Strangers In Paradise” just minus the killing and such. In Giant Days, there are stories of gender, relationships, survival, and dealing with the past. These heavy topics are so invisibly woven into the story that it has a light airy read to it. The power of the story are the characters themselves. It was amazing how quickly I became drawn to them. Each of the women reminded me of either myself or my friends.
Giant Days left me a pure contented happiness. The kind of refreshing feeling you get after hanging out with a great friend. I would recommend this for anyone looking for a comic with a cozy yet entertaining them. I am definitely looking forward to future issues.
Check out Giant Days from your local comic book retailer.