Putting Ed And Nina’s Budding Relationship To The Test In Giant Days #45
by James Ferguson
The relationship between Ed and Nina has burned fiery hot through bonds formed over broken bones and physical therapy. It even survived a trip to Australia and Ed meeting Nina’s parents. Now that they’ve both healed up, can it exist when they both return to normal? They are, after all, two very different people.
Giant Days #45 taps into this pure emotion where Ed realizes that Nina isn’t necessarily the woman he fell in love with. It’s heartbreaking to read as this slowly dawns on him. It’s also presented like a “very special episode” of Giant Days as Nina is forced to confront her drinking problem. This is just a taste of the multiple levels that this comic works on. It can juggle all of these deep dramatic aspects with a number of laugh-out-loud moments.
Let’s start with the relationship angle. Ed is not used to being in this position. His self esteem has always been in the dumps and Nina clearly makes him feel loved, however there’s always this nagging feeling that this beautiful woman will dump him in an instant for any of the muscular men she hangs out with from the rugby team. He can’t quite put that into words, especially to Nina, but you can see it weighing on him.
This is explained visually by Susan as she imagines a Venn diagram with Ed’s unapologetic enjoyment of Star Trek / Discovery on one side and Nina’s regular blackout hedonism and oars on the other. The middle ground is compatible personalities and sexy fun. Artist Max Sarin takes this from the usual two circles and morphs it into lily pads floating on a lake, with Nina kayaking between them to break it up and Ed drowning nearby. It perfectly encapsulates the doubt about this relationship.
Speaking of Susan, there’s a terrific segment early on where she’s hosting a dinner party with friends and she is so out of her element. She has to keep her signature snark in check while entertaining. Writer John Allison has this talent for juggling all the different characters in Giant Days and using each one to usher in each plot thread. It’s like they all pitch in to carry the story along.
There’s a similar element towards the end with Esther which helps give Ed some perspective on this whole situation. In order to get there, we have to talk about Nina’s drinking problem. You can tell that Nina understands this is an issue. Sarin gives her this unsure facial expression when she talks about it. She clearly wants to go out, but is afraid of what might happen if she does.
Colorist Jeremy Lawson brings out the dark side in Nina when she does fall off the wagon. Her face is redder than usual and there’s a regular shadow cast upon it. This is what happens when she loses control. She’s a completely different person and it shows.
Her speech is a wobbly mess too. Letterer Jim Campbell uses these swirling word balloons and font, like everything she’s saying is going through a voice modulator. There are these little bubbles on them too. If she was a cartoon, she would have a little hiccup at the end of each sentence.
Esther drops some hard truth on Ed in the form of relationship advice. Granted, she’s not an expert in these and it’s a little painful to see this as it wasn’t too long ago that the two were in a “will-they-won’t-they” situation. It’s some valuable perspective in all this.
I come here every month to tell you how great Giant Days is. That hasn’t changed with this issue and I doubt it will any time in the near future. This is a fantastic comic book and I’m so very glad that it exists. It should be required reading for anyone that’s even thinking about writing for television as it’s a perfect sitcom.
Giant Days #45 from Boom! Studios is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.