Strangers In Paradise Pocket Book 1 Paperback – Aug 10 2004
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*Starred Review* In the world of Moore's award-attracting comic book Strangers in Paradise, best friends Francine and Katchoo are young women trying to find their places. Katchoo, a talented artist, is secretly in love with Francine. When Katchoo meets David at an art museum, it seems to be by chance, and the two build a strong friendship, despite David's desire for more. Just when Katchoo's little love triangle begins getting complicated, the Mafia past she thought she had walked away from arises to try to destroy her life. Moore's attention to detail in characterization makes Katchoo and the gang jump off the page. The story has an epic feel but never loses the details of the characters' lives. Bouncing between scope and scale, Moore also never loses the reader in the transitions. His art has a bright, clean look; he manages to be cute and also very dark when darkness is appropriate. The combination of art and storytelling elements allows Katchoo, Francine, and David to be touching and to make one care about where they are going. A sophisticated must-read, never more library-friendly than in the new series of regular-book-sized volumes this book inaugurates. Tina Coleman
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I have to say that the writing is top notch with every conceivable twist and turn. I found it hard to put down and was glad when volume 2 came out. Volume three hits the racks next week and will certainly find it's way into my collection.
The strength of this series is undoubtedly its characterisation. Very few comics have such a powerful and realistic portrayal. 'Strangers in Paradise' is an ode to the hidden depth and powerful beauty of women, irrespective of size etc. I think that is such an important message in contemporary times, and this series is incredibly empowering to actually read.
The art is beautiful and detailed and the storyline is gripping and completely addictive. This is a particularly good value buy, since all the 'Strangers in Paradise' books are correlated. The compilation is also an excellent way of developing a depth of understanding and appreciation for its entirity, while reading each edition tends to segement the series. The pocket book size is also wonderful and little, but meaty enough to have long hours curled up reading.
I am beginning to develop a few dislikes to the series, but certainly not enough to give it anything but five stars. Primarily, I think Katchoo is almost a caricature of herself, and her repetitive anger bursts are somewhat irritating and more aligned with the comic 'Hothead Paisan'. Undoubtedly, Francine is the better more realistic more developed character.
Irrespective of this, 'Strangers in Paradise Pocket Book 1' is a neatly correlated engrossing saga of friendship and so much more. Highly recommended.
Terry Moore ratchets up the melodrama to some pretty extreme levels here. The characters and situations are way over the top, but the result is a fun, funny, and in places intensely tragic story of love, lust, and revenge.
The two main characters are Katina "Katchoo" Choovanski, a man-hating former call girl, and Francine Peters, a quiet brunette who is dealing with her own insecurities with food and poor choices in boyfriends. The third side of the love triangle is David, a quiet art student who hides some sinister secrets.
The book has a great intensity and Moore's stark b/w art style captures the variety of characters nicely. Bits of songs and poetry complement the story, along with two extended prose segments (one of which is a nice noir bit featuring Detective Walsh, who was my favorite supporting character).
The plot is convoluted and (intentionally) improbable, and some of the characters degenerate into caricature for the sake of humor, but when Moore goes for the serious stuff he can really tug at the heartstrings.
If you're looking for a comic book that is not kids stuff, superhero fantasy, or manga, this is a pretty good one to check out.