Category Archives: John Allison

Giant Days #1, published by Boom! Studios

Giant Days, drawn by Lissa Trieman

Giant Days, drawn by Lissa Treiman

Giant Days, drawn by John Allison

Giant Days, drawn by John Allison

Not too long ago, I reviewed a John Allison comic under the same title. This first issue of “Giant Days” is different material and published by Boom! Studios. It is very cool to see this comic getting a higher profile. This one is by John Allison and Lissa Treiman. It is the same trio of college friends from the webcomic. But, just so you know, Allison only writes it. And it is Treiman who does the art. Now, I know Allison has a strong following that know his work as the result of his writing and drawing. For those fans, how do you feel taking his characters in a new direction as it were? It does not completely sit well with me. But should that really be the case? Probably not.

Having another artist draw one’s comic creates a whole new dynamic to say the least. The original Allison characters are delightful: very deadpan, droll, with an overall cool demeanor. This new version warms up Daisy, Esther, and Susan in a way that is subtle but still there. This got me to thinking. It seems like you can get away with that with Adventure Time characters being drawn by various artists. That’s because they’re such broad and elastic characters drenched in irony. But you could never truly get away with the Peanuts gang being drawn by someone else. That’s because they’re such personal creations. I submit to you the newer Peanuts animated TV specials for your review. The oldest ones, you know the ones, may not have been drawn by Charles M. Schulz but they sure had the look and feel of the characters spot on.

There’s definitely a shift in tone here. So, I thought some more. It’s like once you’ve seen Ricky Gervais in “The Office,” you’re kind of spoiled and won’t ever fully accept Steve Carell, even though he’s a comic genius. Hmm, that said, it has to be an honor for Allison to see his characters transcend his own depiction of them. That part is nice. And Treiman does a fine job. And, well, if you didn’t know this already, it is Allison who requested that Treiman pursue this latest run that revisits the girls getting used to university life.

But you see my point, right? Comics are a very tricky thing. They involve body language, style, and a whole way of looking at the world. Hmm, for me, the change in the art alone made this comic feel less British. It is, mind you, still set in Britain and the dialogue alone attests to that from time to time. Maybe some small adjustments have been made in the bargain so it’s just not quite as British. But, to heck with it, I do enjoy the American version of “The Office!” If you’re not easily won over, this different Giant Days may throw you threw a loop but, at the end of the day, it’s very funny. I dare say, what with all the changes, it has a nice charm about it.

“Giant Days #1” is available now. For more details, visit our friends at Boom! Studios right here.


Filed under animation, Boom! Studios, Cartooning, Cartoonists, Cartoons, Charles M. Schulz, Comics, Comics Reviews, John Allison

Review: GIANT DAYS #1, by John Allison


“Giant Days #1” is just what the doctor ordered if you’re in need of some rather droll humor. John Allison has been dishing out his humor, dry and stylish, for many years. Fans of Allison’s “Scary Go Round” are fiercely devoted to the misadventures of Shelly Winters, which you can check out here. Allison has gone beyond the youthful misadventures of Scary to the schoolgirl sleuths in “Bad Machinery.” And, in between, he created “Giant Days,” featuring Esther de Groot, just starting university, and always ready to get into trouble.


The characters in Giant Days are all quite young, full of spunk, and part of a way of looking at the world, all deadpan and cute. The quirk factor in Allison’s comics falls right in with comics by Kate Beaton and Bryan Lee O’Malley. All three cartoonists don’t seem to have a mean bone in their bodies. Their characters may say things that are snarky and yet they also come across as quite vulnerable, never much of a threat to anyone. Even when things come down to pounding fists and kicks, the genius to keep to a cartoony distance repels any real harm. That is a big part of the appeal. These characters can say and do anything and remain in a cartoon safe zone. That’s the story of a lot of great comics.

You would think this sort of thing is such a piece of cake. The art appears rather simple, yes? The jokes seem so casual and carefree, yes? But, no, it’s not easy cake. It’s not even easy cupcake. The process can be magical, enjoyable, and may seem easy. But it requires the right type of cartoonist: diligent, brave, and full of wit. So is the case with Allison. In Giant Days, he gives us one Esther de Groot, all cute and idealistic. She loves the cerebral and the misfit. Those are the types she wants to hang out with as she starts her life, away from home. But, given her cuteness, the cool girls want to take her as one of their own. Of course, they never expected Esther to have a mind of her own. Sarcastic remarks are made. Cat fights ensue. All in all, just the sort of comic to enjoy with a nice tea and crumpets.

Visit John Allison’s website here. And check out Giant Days over at ComiXology here.

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Filed under Comics, Comics Reviews, Comixology, Comixology Submit, John Allison, Scary Go Round, Webcomics