In an industry dominated by cape comics, Giant Days gives you a peek at what else the medium has to offer. Part of this likely has to do with its unique origin from writer and creator John Allison. Allison got his start writing webcomics back in the late ’90s early 2000s with titles such as Bobbins and Scary Go Round. Because of this, Giant Days challenges traditional comic book practices by keeping its webcomic roots intact. Essentially, it has big webcomic energy.
Additionally, Giant Days successfully manages to divide its narrative among its ensemble cast. There is no singular center of attention to whom the story belongs. While there are the three lead heroines, Susan, Esther, and Daisy, character arcs are given amply to the endearing supporting cast as well. In contrast to most solo driven narratives in mainstream comic book media.
To further break the mold, Giant Days maintains a thematic and believable passing of time that is usually absent from comics you find front and center of the rack at comic shops. For starters, it ended. But leading to that ending, were semesters of growth, and struggles that truly hit home for any college student.
From the very beginning, there was a clear finish line for this story, graduation. This became more apparent as the first semester came to an end in issue #18, which then set a precise pace for the remaining story to follow. The more the flow of time passes, the more our characters grow figuratively and literally. The closer we get to graduation, the closer we come to the end of the tale.
Being someone who started with superhero comics from DC Comics and Marvel, reading this series to its finale challenged my perspective of what defines a comic book. In this day and age, comics cover many genres. This wasn’t something new to me, but it was something I had to explore more to understand. Giant Days pushed me to look for stories outside my comfort zone. Not just other similar grounded stories, it led me to try comics I was previously indifferent to.
Suddenly I find myself reading Lumberjanes and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Both are great stories I might not have given a chance if I was never pulled in by Lissa Treiman’s captivating cover of Giant Days #1.
What comic first challenged your perspective of what a comic book can be? Let us know in the comments.