Strangers in Paradise—Pocket Book 1

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8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 10/10

I Dream of You

The original series and It's a Good Life don't measure up to I Dream of You

 
Comic Info

Comic Name:  Strangers in Paradise (Volume 1)/Strangers in Paradise (Volume 2)

Publisher:  Abstract Studio

Writer:  Terry Moore

Artist:  Terry Moore

# of Issues:  16

Release Date:   2004

strangers-in-paradise-volume-1-#2

Strangers in Paradise (1) #2

Reprints Strangers in Paradise (1) #1-3 and Strangers in Paradise (2) #1-13 (January 1993-June 1996).  Katchoo Choovanski and Francine Peters have been best friends since high school.  They share everything with each other including an apartment.  Francine’s dating a frustrated Freddie Femur.  When Francine finds Freddie’s cheating, Katchoo sets out for revenge.  Katchoo is also struggling with a new boy named David Qin who doesn’t believe she’s not interested in men.  When Katchoo is suddenly called away to Canada, Francine learns that something happened to Katchoo between high school and their reunion that has assassins coming after both her and Katchoo.

Strangers in Paradise by Terry Moore started out as a limited series then graduated to a full series.  The first pocket book collection was previously released in individual trade paperback form as Strangers in Paradise (Strangers in Paradise (1) #1-3), Strangers in Paradise:  I Dream of You (Strangers in Paradise (2) #1-9 ), and Strangers in Paradise:  It’s a Good Life (Strangers in Paradise (2) #10-13).  Not included in this collection is Strangers in Paradise (2) #14 which was called Molly & Poo and later re-incorporated into the series.

The first series of Strangers in Paradise does introduce some of the bigger plotlines in Strangers in Paradise but is much jokier than the rest of the series.  The humor is light-hearted and fun, and Katchoo’s dark side is underplayed.  It feels like Moore was testing the ground for the full series and needed to have a complete series, but still wanted to have some hints of a bigger storyline involving Katchoo.

strangers-in-paradise-#2

Strangers in Paradise (2) #2

The second set of stories I Dream of You really provide the meat of the series.  Katchoo’s secret past is revealed and other major players like Tambi and Bambi and Darcy Parker.  It is dark but funny and actually has some pretty decent twists.  I Dream of You received the Eisner Award for Best Serialized Story, but feels like such a contrast to the previous story which was so light.  The story is tight and smartly paced, but also has a great combination of art and prose within the story with Katchoo’s art within the art of the comic.

The last storyline in the pocketbook It’s a Good Life returns to the pacing of the first series with the darkness of the second story mixed into the darkness of the second storyline.  It is a bit of a letdown from I Dream of You which was really intense, but it would be difficult to maintain the intensity of the series.

Strangers in Paradise is a fun series that is finding its feet in the book.  Moore’s art is lush and really brings out the characters.  It is hard to pick favorite covers because Moore seems to really have fun with that aspect.  It is a strange collection because it has some of the weakest storyline but also possibly the best storyline of the whole series.  I followed Strangers in Paradise for a long time and it is good to go back and reread it but I also feel like it has lost some of the magic of the first reading.

Related Links:

Strangers in Paradise—Pocket Book 2

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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