As readers we find ourselves sometimes needing to branch out, and one of those branches for me has always been comic books, in particular the more “independent” comic books. One of the best examples has to be Strangers in Paradise.
The second pocket book collecting the famed ‘Strangers in Paradise’ series written by cartoonist Terry Moore collects together the first seventeen issues of the third volume of the series, the first volume to be sold as a continuing series (the previous two volumes having only been mini-series).
The main stories continues on directly from the end of the first pocket book/first two volumes, with Katchoo following David and eventually being drawn back into the life she had tried so hard to leave. The love between her and Francine is palpable, but there are blocks thrown in their way time and time again.
Moore’s ability to tell a story using multiple types of storytelling is amazing, and he uses his artwork to the same degree that he uses the dialogue, prose and poetry that tell this amazing story.
The characters are intricate and obviously well loved by the author, which easily translates to the reader loving the characters just as much. The slice of life that we are witnessing is compelling despite the involvement many of the characters have with this world’s mafia. It doesn’t detract from the story being told, the lives being lived, and in fact just adds another dimension of reality to the story.
The only thing that could be taken against this book – and maybe it is just the format in which the issues are bound – is the sometimes jarring jump from short story to 10 years into the future to main story to short story. It leaves you feeling a little disorientated, and I wonder what it would have been like reading the book in issues.
That being said, the story is so compelling and each of the jumps compelling in and of themselves that it is only the transition that I really have a problem with.
The second pocket book of Strangers in Paradise begins in earnest the story that would become one of the comic industries biggest calling cards, and one of the few books that many people will consider reading. I would seriously suggest you consider picking up the first or second pocket book, as they are well worth the money and are packed full of brilliant writing and artistry.
Review by Joshua S Hill
9/10 from 1 reviews
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