Once again I’m going to step away from reviewing something that is strictly fantasy for something that is of such great quality that I simply can’t ignore it. Following on the heels of my review of Terry Moore’s first trade paperback of Echo, I’m going to look at the book that made Terry Moore famous; Strangers in Paradise.
There are several collections for Strangers in Paradise, but the one that I love the best is the pocket book series, a collection of 6 smaller sized books that collect almost two dozen issues in one book. The first pocket book collects the three issues of SiP Volume 1 and thirteen issues of Volume 2.
And if ever there was a book that could get you hooked on a whole series this is the one.
I started out reading SiP knowing that it was one of the most beloved comic books. It isn’t just “one of the most beloved comic book that isn’t a superhero book,” but simply one of the most beloved. When the big collection came out last year there was so much love for SiP that it was hard to miss how much people loved this series.
But I didn’t know just how much I would love the series myself.
This first collection of SiP introduces us to our lead characters, Francine and Katchoo, and a few others who will be involved in the lives of our female leads. Francine is the everyday character while Katchoo is very much the character we all wish we could be. Together they make a combustible pair that drives the story ahead with a lot of passion.
Terry Moore knows how to write people better than anyone I’ve ever read. Some authors get the way a person encounters conflict, or violence, or love, or the everyday; but only Terry Moore manages to “get” all of them and still deliver a story that is thrilling and entertaining both.
There are hints at what this story will evolve into. The love triangle between Francine, Katchoo and their friend David is beautiful and amazing to watch grow, evolve and mutate. The introduction of characters who will play a larger part later on (so I’m told) really leaves a good taste in your mind. The thriller aspect of this series is set up in this series and allows this series to have another dimension to other interpersonal stories.
And in every aspect Moore leaves you wanting more and more.
Moore’s writing is mesmerizing and he gets humans better than anyone I’ve ever read. His artwork matches perfectly.
Moore draws these characters so realistically yet so beautifully that you wish your life took place within the pages of SiP. There are ugly people and pretty people and lots of people in between, but all are drawn with such beauty that you’re left staring at the pages. Francine is a beautiful woman and it shows not just through her figure but through her face, her expressions, and her posture. Katchoo is violent but passionate and it shows in the same way. And Moore is drawing these women at home and comfortable, so there is a lot of skimpy clothing, but it isn’t sleazy or chessecakey, but just subtle and beautiful.
I’ve only read 15 issues of SiP but I already think this is one of the best series of fiction I’ve ever read. I can’t wait to read more, and I really suggest everyone get out there and read some themselves. Head along to Moore’s own page to order copies of the pocket books.
Review by Joshua S Hill
9/10 from 1 reviews
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