If you were one of the many people who attended the San Diego Comic-Con this year, hopefully you were smart enough to stop by Abstract Studio’s booth and picked up a copy of the Strangers In Paradise Omnibus. The entire indie comic classic created by writer/artist Terry Moore is collected together in 2 volumes for the first time and made its unofficial debut at the Con and I was able to snag a copy with the help of GoD co-owner Dave3.
Strangers in Paradise is a romantic dramedy that centers around two best friends who have known each other since high school. Francine is the plus-sized shy one, who is unaware of just how special she really is. Katina (aka Katchoo) is the fiery outspoken artist, who is extremely loyal to and in love with Francine. The series follows their adult lives and their ever complicated relationship filled with men, women, guns, and of course, the Mafia.
If you are not familiar with the series, I must say that my summarization of the series does not do the book justice. It is a great read and provides the reader with a variety of emotions. I cannot think of a comic that has so many funny lines of dialogue and heartbreaking scenes all at once. The story, while mostly soap opera-esque, isn’t afraid to tap into other types of genres as well. At any point in time, the comic shifts from a soap opera to a comedy, to a mystery, drama, and even action. It is a story that should entertain anyone who is interested in a great story. Above all else, thanks to the writing, you actually feel for these characters and relate to them. Don’t be surprised if halfway into the story, you start actually thinking these characters are real.
Terry Moore has a great ear for dialogue and definitely knows how to weave a story together. Along with his writing talents, his artistic skills are just as impressive. I always have a personal soft spot for those who can write and draw and do each equally well. Terry Moore definitely fits that bit. The man sure can draw some pretty looking women. And not just any type of women. Realistic looking women with curves who have a little extra meat on their bones. He also draws some wonderful facial expression that can give artist Kevin Maguire a run for his money.
Those familiar with the series like myself were practically drooling when news of the omnibus going on sale was announced and I am happy to say, it does not disappoint. The book is gorgeous. The entire series is collected in two large hardcovers and is presented in the reading order that Moore always wanted. Also, Moore has stated that because he was able to collect the series together, he was able to go back and not only fix some of the typos but also adding some previously omit panels in order to present it to a more mainstream audience, as well as cleaning up some of the art digitally. All of this is included into the book along with a third book that collects all the covers ever done for the series. This is indeed the definitive Strangers in Paradise collection, as Terry Moore envisioned it.
The best part about the book? Not only does it come in a sleek black slipcase but the binding on these books is amazing. No matter how heavy, you can lay the book flat on any surface, giving you the option of not holding it while you read. Now, you can just set it on the table and read these massive volumes without tiring yourself by holding it.
Whether you are a fan of the series or just hearing about it now, you need to do yourself a favor and pick up the Strangers in Paradise Omnibus. If you missed it at San Diego, fear not. It is currently at Strangers in Paradise website. Pre-order it there to guarantee your copy because I have a feeling this one will be hard to get once it comes out. You will be happy you did.