STRANGERS IN PARADISE: Treasury Edition

Terry Moore, Author . Perennial Currents $23.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-06-056851-1

This handsome, oversize book comes at an opportune time: it gathers early issues of the long running, Eisner Award–winning independent comic into trade paperback collections, which should help it reach a larger audience. Moreover, the story deserves an overall survey to catch new readers up on events so far, since it has gone through several incarnations, including episodes of sex comedy, crime thriller and domestic drama. Reading these collected chapters in the continuing story of angry, blonde Katchoo and more easygoing, brunette Francine, it becomes clear that writer/artist Moore isn't so much inventing details about these women as he is discovering more about them. When he began work on the series (in a preliminary version printed here for the first time), Katchoo and Francine were fairly straightforward comic characters. Then they started to develop unexpected quirks, which made their problems harder to resolve but made the absurdity of their maneuvers funnier. This overview of Katchoo and Francine shows how silly, scary and wonderful human relationships can be, especially as these two work at being friends and lovers. Readers familiar with the series will cherish this collection of highlights and extensive commentary; newcomers will appreciate the chance to get to know some endearing characters. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 11/15/2004
Release date: 10/01/2004
Genre: Fiction
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