Love Is In The Air In Giant Days #44

by James Ferguson

Esther is bouncing back from her unrequited love of Ed Gemmell at what could be a very inopportune time.  It’s Valentine’s Day – or as Daisy calls it “Valembrine’s Day” as she refuses to say its name – and there are hearts and love everywhere. Our resident goth princess is looking for more than a fling.  She wants a real relationship and she may have just found one in the form of a mechanical engineer named Richard Owen.

You know those old cartoons when a character would fall head-over-heels in love and hearts would fly all over the place? The music would suddenly swell and they’d be swept off their feet? That literally plays out in Giant Days #44 and it’s nothing short of incredible. Artist Max Sarin brings this scene to life in such a fun way.
When Esther and Richard lay eyes at each other, everything else is pushed aside.  Esther floats up from her seat down to meet him face to face. My favorite part of this is that one of the hearts that propel her forward falls down and slaps McGraw right in the face. These hearts can’t be real, but for a moment, they totally are and it’s absolutely hilarious.

Colorist Whitney Cogar strikes the right balance between overly sweet and real life. The pink hearts don’t overpower the scene. They’re just part of the overall world.  Of course this would happen here. They seem natural in this environment. Even though it’s a cartoonish effect, it doesn’t feel that way in this context.
There are additional little details that help amplify the overall humor of the scene. The pupils in both characters’ eyes are replaced with bright red hearts. This budding relationship moves quickly and we spend most of the issue watching these two lovebirds go on a number of wacky adventures together. It’s really pretty sweet, until it culminates in a bizarre ultimatum.

That cartoonish quality reaches a peak towards the end of the issue as Esther makes her way home. I won’t spoil it here, but I will say that Sarin has outdone himself. Giant Days reaches this quirky humor in such a perfect way, working with elements that could only possibly exist in this world.
While Esther’s tale takes up a large chunk of Giant Days #44, Daisy and Susan get some character development too.  Daisy is forced to deal with a loud resident while Susan is teased about her non-romantic qualities by her fellow med school students.

The latter is particularly funny because romance isn’t really in Susan’s nature. She’s more cynical and pragmatic even though she’s in a very healthy relationship with McGraw. Letterer Jim Campbell hammers this home as Susan gets increasingly frustrated. Her words appear as gruff and in a bold font. She’s angry and it shows.
Giant Days continues its solid run as the sitcom that I hope never ends. Writer John Allison seamlessly transitions between characters and their arcs to the point where I can’t tell where one story ends and another begins.  It flows so incredibly well and this is matched with laugh-out-loud jokes. This really is one of the best comics on the stands today and not enough people are talking about it.
Giant Days #44 from Boom! Studios is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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