Giant Days Vol. 08 by John Allison and Max Sarin – Graphic Novel Review

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Friendships, relationships, living together–what do all these have in common? They tend to get messy, especially when you’re just turning twenty.

Those are the lessons our heroines are met with, come Volume 08 of Giant Days. I first read it in 2021 and promptly forgot to review it; revisiting the series again has been an absolute thrill, in part because this really is the best slice-of-life comic in the universe, but also because I couldn’t ask for better reading company.

Esther, doing brilliantly at uni for once, meets her match in Emilia (she of the stolen McGraw boyfriend, enemy to Susan, Spanish Conquistador, Yadda-Yadda); but are they destined to be enemies? Not as such, and especially not when a sleazy Lit teacher shows his true colours in one of the best panels in the history of paneling:


The friendship between these two is adorable, even if we all know its days are numbered. Wait, how do we know that, again? Well, Reader, keep your eyes on our gal Susie and find out what plot twi–it’s a McGraw thing. That’s it.

I warned you lot– m e s s y .

Daisy meanwhile is pulling double duty, dating the German exchange disaster student Ingrid while also trying to set up our lad Ed Gemmell with the perfect woman for him. Only, Ed does what Ed does best: makes an awkward exit. Daisy reacts calmly to that, as Daisy is prone to do:

Really, it all goes horribly, horribly wrong by the end of the volume, when every one of Esther, Susan, and Daisy’s secrets come to the fore and the bill comes due–I mean here a literal bill, one of such an astronomical figure, you’d be forgiven to think this volume a direct commentary on contemporary electric bills in the UK, he said, in Autumn 2022.

It’s all remarkable good fun, even as the big fight leaves you worried, for the first time ever, about the special friendship our three protagonists have. As always, I can’t recommend this series enough, Reader! John Allison hasn’t failed to deliver a crackling read yet, not where this series is concerned, and Max Sarin’s illustrations are some of the finest across the industry.

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