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The Complete Strangers in Paradise, Volume One

1 rating: 4.0
The first volume of TPB collections gathering the popular independent comic book series by Terry Moore.

This quality hardbound volume is the first in a series collecting the SIP story in its complete story arcs. Book One contains the entire original mini-series that introduced Francine, Katchoo, David, Freddie and more. Plus, a 5 page short story, sketchbook … see full wiki

Author: Terry Moore
Genre: Comics & Graphic Novels
Publisher: Abstract Studio
1 review about The Complete Strangers in Paradise, Volume...

This is A Love Story....Filled with Real Characters And Charming Storytelling!

  • Jul 30, 2011
Woopak is reviewing a romance comic?! Unbelievable. But remember, I may not see ‘romance’ in the same definition as most people do. I see “Kill Bill” as one of the most romantic pieces of cinema ever produced (kidding). Well, anyway, I like anything that has originality and I do believe that comics are for the most part need a lot of respect than having super heroes in kiddie shows or products to promote cleaning up poop so I have to review something that promotes realism and definitely a more gritty story.
Comics have evolved into a medium with a lot of sophistication, and has finally abandoned the staple seen by most as 'silly'; it has become more grounded in reality with stories that aren't meant for kids. "Strangers in Paradise" is one perfect example....

Terry Moore’s “Strangers in Paradise” is a romance comic at its core and volume one collects its early issues. The set up is pretty much your basic romance book; David is in love with Katchoo, while Katchoo has feelings for Francine. Francine is in turn in love with Freddie and is holding off on sex until she can be reassured. Freddie is in love with himself. So there you have it, a comic book filled with crazy and nutty developments and sequences that can make Tarantino green with envy.

What makes Moore’s creation different is the way he handles its premise. The characters feel real and what happens to them can easily be related to. Things like this can happen in real life; (ok, not the way things actually happen since I wouldn’t want to wish anyone to suffer the stuff that some of the characters went through) and the dialogue helps the pace and the way it connects to the reader makes for a very humorous adventure. “Strangers in Paradise” is very dark, and most of the things about it cannot be grasped by the casual comic fan who are used to the staples of the goofy, silly stories of the 40’s and the 50’s.

Moore’s creation is rich with feminist themes, Katchoo represents the ultimate best friend and lover. She would do anything for Francine and expects no credit for it. Francine is a woman with a big heart and would do anything to please her man. She shows a damaged side of her as expressed through her reluctance to sex, and her willingness to give in to the desires of man. In some way, Francine embodies how love can sometimes blind us to the truth and how it can be disastrous to fall in love with the wrong person. Katchoo is the one who knows what she is doing most of the time, and she usually goes by her instincts and about seizing the moment. She is tough and crazy, but she also is very smart and has the ‘balls’ to do pretty much anything for Francine. Yes, Moore serves up several cautionary messages for women as he portrays men as the bad guy for the most part.

Volume 1, Issue 1 Cover

Volume 1, Issue 2 Cover

However, Moore shows a lighter note to the male as David shows compassion and commitment to Katchoo who really isn’t interested in his attentions. While Freddie embodies the selfish, self-centered male, David is many ways is a reflection of the images of both Francine and Katchoo. He does things from his heart and is filled with sincerity, and yet he is underappreciated. In many ways, Moore serves up a cautionary tale for men as well; as it plants the idea how men reap what they sow (the jailhouse guard) and that women are no mere playthings and should be treated as equals. I did enjoy the way Katchoo got her payback and how Francine manages to get 'one up' over Freddie.

Collecting the stories from “Breaking Up is Hard to do”, “Katchoo’s Revenge”, "Busted"  and “Over My Dead Body”, volume one is pretty much all about love or lack of it. It also collects various other stories such as “The Splits” and “Sweet Dreams”, the book is the whole package as it even has an interview with Terry Moore. The dialogue has some profanity and the book does have several sequences of violence and hinted at nudity. Personally I liked the black and white approach, made me pay attention to the stories rather than any fancy visuals. What makes “Strangers in Paradise” is the way the characters interact and how the dialogue runs the story. It makes for a rewarding read as we see several overtones of becoming a stranger to happiness, how sometimes the good thing just remains unseen and unnoticed by our naked eye. Sometimes, the heart wants what it wants, and then our brain thinks we want something else….

Highly Recommended! [4+ Out of 5 stars]

Volume 1, Issue 3 Cover

This is A Love Story....Filled with Real Characters And Charming Storytelling!

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May 05, 2012
This is a terrific series and you've done a very good job explaining why. Nicely done.
August 03, 2011
Definitely sounds like a comic I would enjoy. Love triangles are oh so much fun! And this one sounds quite intriguing.
August 08, 2011
I think this more like a love 'square' LOL!!
August 10, 2011
LOL! Mmm...squares! :)
August 01, 2011
This series is one of my favorite indie comics titles. Wish there were more series that were this quirky and character driven. We need more soap opera comics. LOL!
August 01, 2011
well, we could sell them the rights to our life story...we're characters LOL! Though I doubt anyone would buy the darned thing.

I heard a rumor they're making a movie about this soon...
August 01, 2011
directed by Bret Rattner :P
August 01, 2011
Not who I heard was going to do it.
August 01, 2011
I was just messin' around to get a rise out of you LOL!
August 01, 2011
I read somewhere about a year ago that Jason Reitman was being considered to do a film. After "Thank You for Smoking", "Juno", and "Up in the Air", I'd be interested to what he'd do.
August 03, 2011
he'd be a good choice. Hopefully it won't be the guy who directed "I am Number Four" LOL
August 03, 2011
Euch. Stupid, talentless, by-the-numbers Hollywood scum.
July 31, 2011
Never read this
July 31, 2011
Give it a shot. It feels like a Tarantino had inspired the way it goes around its bizarre sequences. Real funny and yet dark stuff.
July 30, 2011
I love SiP! I've been a fan for ages, and your review sums up why very well...the characters, how real and grounded they feel. Have you read Moore's more recent series, Echo? It just finished up, and it's also good stuff ( though not quite up to his work on Strangers!).
July 30, 2011
Thanks for the read, Glass! SiP is one very different and original series; it truly is impressive how Moore can make the characters feel so real in the works of dialogue. As for Echo, I started reading it but haven't gotten a chance to really get into it. I agree that it wasn't as good as this one. Have you read CHEW? I highly recommend that one if you want to read something so sinister and funny!
July 30, 2011
Oh, that looks cool...I'll have to give it a shot! Echo is good, it just takes a while to get into it. Hard to follow up SiP I imagine. Moore has a new series out too, 'Rachel Rising,' first issue out this month, I think. I'll be checking that out for sure.
July 30, 2011
I know, I almost feel like Moore has created his best work and it'll be tough to top this one. I love "Chew" and it becomes more funny and much darker the more the series goes on. Keep me posted about "Rachel Rising" but I'll try to pick up an issue myself. I try to be real picky these days and usually I wait for the TPB since comics by themselves have gotten too expensive at $ 3-5 a pop. .
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The Collected Strangers in Paradise, Volume One
The Complete Strangers in Paradise, Volume One
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