Giant Days #43 Starts In The Winter Village & Ends With A Melted Santa Robot

by James Ferguson

Daisy has roped Ed into working at the Winter Village so he can raise money to go meet his new girlfriend’s parents in Australia. That seems like a normal enough premise for a story, right? Just wait until you see where Giant Days #43 goes. It starts with this idea and ends with a melted Santa robot in a dumpster. Get ready for a crazy journey, as only Giant Days can deliver.

The way this story grows and evolves is a testament to writer John Allison’s incredible pacing and delivery. It’s amazing to watch as Daisy and Ed go deeper and deeper into this Winter Village ecosystem to the point where the hijinks there literally become front page news. All the while, the jokes pile up. I laughed out loud repeatedly while reading this comic.
This is matched perfectly with Max Sarin’s artwork. The gags complement Sarin’s strengths in the best possible ways. He can create these cartoonish landscapes that exude emotion, ranging from the desperate and depressed to the manic and crazed. This is one of the many reasons that Giant Days is such a compelling read. You can’t help but get wrapped up in the lives of these characters, based partially on their expressive nature.

Daisy is a great example of this. Her powers of positivity are probably at their highest during the holidays. It takes so much for her to see anything that’s not joyful or full of wonder. Her wide eyed enthusiasm is infectious as she throws herself completely into the Winter Village. There’s one panel where there are actual stars glistening around her face as she constantly looks for the silver lining in all of this.
Colorist Whitney Cogar makes Daisy sparkle in this dreary landscape. She becomes the one shining beacon of hope here. It becomes clear the more you read that the Winter Village is a sham, thriving on the cheap labor of needy college students. Somehow, Daisy doesn’t see all that and looks only at the joy of Christmas.

Everything comes to a head in a great revelation scene where Daisy finally puts all the pieces together. Every part of the creative team is firing on all cylinders here. In case you couldn’t guess, this is one of the parts where I was laughing out loud. It’s a crazy and hilarious sequence that builds to the point where Daisy is frazzled and ready to do anything to get out. Letterer Jim Campbell puts it over the edge with some intense bold font, stressing just how far Daisy has gone.
As with other issues of Giant Days, every character gets some time in the spotlight. Allison keeps all of their plot threads moving forward. While Ed and Daisy get a larger push with this chapter, there are tidbits dropped for Susan, Esther, and McGraw that will surely be picked up in subsequent issues. This comes down to brilliant setup that is thought out well ahead of time.

Giant Days is superb. It proves time and time again that it’s one of the best comics on the stands today. I’m almost getting tired of telling you all how great it is. In a medium filled with super heroes, sci-fi, horror, and everything else, it’s refreshing to have a smart, funny, character-driven book like this delivering solid stories month in and month out.
Giant Days #43 from Boom! Studios is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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