Graphic Novel Review: Giant Days Volume 1

Note: This review is part of the 2016 Summer Reading Diversity Spotlight.

Giant Days Vol. 1 by John Allison, Lissa Treiman, & Whitney Cogar
Release Date: December 1, 2015
Publisher: BOOM! Box
Genre: Contemporary
ISBN: 978-1608867899
Source: Comixology Unlimited
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Susan, Esther, and Daisy started at university three weeks ago and became fast friends. Now, away from home for the first time, all three want to reinvent themselves. But in the face of handwringing boys, “personal experimentation,” influenza, mystery mold, nuchauvinism, and the willful, unwanted intrusion of “academia,” they may be lucky just to make it to spring alive. Collects issues #1-4.


It’s funny because I don’t read a lot of contemporary novels but I will dive into a contemporary graphic novel pretty quickly. Anyway, Giant Days hasn’t been on my radar for long, after all, volume one released this past December. But after reading the first four issues in volume one, I can say that I’m really looking forward to following this story and exploring the journeys of these three characters more.

In Giant Days, we follow Daisy, Esther, and Susan, three new friends who bond during their first semester of college. Daisy is a pacifist and smart though a bit naive, almost reminding me of Sue from The Middle. Needless to say, she is entertaining. She is also opening herself up to the reality that she likes girls and not only that, she asks a girl out for the first time.

This might be a spoiler, so just skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want to read it but I like that she gets rejected and the rejection is not because the other girl, Nadia isn’t a lesbian but it’s simply because Nadia was just looking for a friend in Daisy. It’s refreshing to see that kind of rejection amongst two people who both want the same things just not necessarily reciprocally from each other and that’s okay since (run on sentence here we come) just because someone is in the LGBT community, it doesn’t mean that they want to automatically date the next person they meet who is also in the LGBT community. That’s not how it works. Straight people aren’t attracted to/want to have a relationship with every straight person they see. So. This was great. Perhaps Daisy and Nadia will get together over time or perhaps it really will just be a friendship. Either way, what’s been established here so far has been great. This comic is just as much about friendship as it is romance and the overall college experience so there’s plenty to explore here.

“I don’t know how I feel about Daisy having friends we don’t know.” – Esther

There’s also Esther, who is mysterious but moreso because she’s lost in life, as most people are at this age so it’s nothing against her. She’s also heartbroken, so it will be interesting to see how she continues to move forward from this heartbreak. And according to Susan, Esther attracts a lot of drama. But so far, she hasn’t attracted much (moreso more odd situations and moments than full blown drama) so it’s an interesting observation and perhaps setting up small for bigger things to come.

Finally, there’s Susan, or Sue, the realist of the bunch. She narrates the story and at first appears to be the most level headed but even the the level headed one in the group has issues too. She’s also heartbroken and is trying to fight an addiction. Watching her give into her grudges and take justice (whether it is deserved or not) into her own hands has given us just a peek at what kind of trouble this one can stir up. And she thinks Esther is the drama queen. Ha.

I love that this story, in just four issues has introduced some very important topics like sexism, addiction, drug use, etc… in a very natural and relatable progression as we follow three freshman young adult women in college. I also love how seamlessly other little college details, no matter how mundane, are incorporated into the story. It makes it all the more relatable and exciting to read. And finally, the art was great. I absolutely loved it.

Finally, I must add that I really like the humor in this book and I definitely laugh aloud when the bird talked to Daisy after she stuck her head outside of her window. That was hilarious.

Giant Days Vol. 1 by John Allison, Lissa Treiman, & Whitney Cogar is available today.