This great, neverending graphic novel is all about friendship and bonding between the three persons in the picture above: Francine (laughing), Katchoo (smiling), and David (behind them).
The series has its own Strangers in Paradise home page with lots of examples of the graphical art work.
Just the great drawings in themselves should be enough to make you want to read this graphic novel! Terry Moore manages to put so much meaning into a simple facial expression consisting sometimes of only a few smooth lines, that it almost spooks me at times!
Strangers in Paradise used to be in black&white only, but for a while last year, Moore was adding color to the drawings. Such a move is to a graphic novel as double-edged as adding pictures to a text novel. The result may look better (as indeed the strongly yet tastefully colored SiP books do), but it puts a new restriction on the reader's freedom of imagination by removing an important dimension. Personally, I think that SiP, like imho all other graphic novels and comics which have gotten color added in recent years, was actually better in b&w. Therefore I was very pleased when SiP went back to b&w after only a few colored issues! :-)
Anyway, I heartily recommend all the SiP-issues, new as well as old! It is a wonderfully told story! Especially refreshing is the portrayal of the characters' interpersonal relationships. For once, romantic love is neither the goal nor the most important part of the lives of a novel's characters! On the contrary, in SiP amorous feelings are usually seen as something bothersome which interferes with the far more important feelings of friendship and trust which make up the characters' "real" lives. Over and over when reading Strangers in Paradise I find myself nodding and thinking: "That's so right! That is just the way life is!"
Every man who reads Strangers in Paradise, including me, seems to develop a "thing" for Katchoo, despite her obvious misandry. She's a wildcat, but still tender and vulnerable, and it is not at all hard to identify with poor David in his desire to be with Katchoo in spite of the way she treats him. When he declares his predictably unreciprocated devotion to her, we all pity him, but we understand oh, so well that it is the only thing he can do!
Nevertheless, Strangers in Paradise is not a men's series. It is one of the few graphic novels that seem to attract female readers too. (At least judging from the fan letters that get printed in what Moore calls "the little typy stuff" in the back of each issue.)
You can read more about Terry Moore and Strangers in Paradise at the authorized SiP fan page, and at the other sites in the SiP-ring (see below).
If any of this sounds interesting to you, you should consider buying Strangers in Paradise and see for yourself. You can order it from the same shop where I buy all my copies, viz. Valhall in Bergen.
If you too are a fan of Terry Moore's, be sure to join the SiPlist!
If you like SiP, chances are you'll also enjoy a look at my other favorite graphic novels!
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