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Strangers in paradise Pocket Book 2 (2004): So the Last Third of Book One Wasn’t a Fluke?

Terry Moore, Strangers in Paradise Pocket Book 2 (Abstract Studio, 2004)

photo credit: Barnes and Noble

[note: review originally published 21Mar2011]

I gave Moore a light smack on the wrist for the ludicrousness of the last third of the first Strangers in Paradise book when I reviewed it a while back; what had previously been a romance comic was all the sudden a spy thriller? I should have known that he was setting it up to be a spy thriller that had romance aspects, which is exactly what happens in Book 2, and it feels much more natural here. Katchoo gets caught up with Darcy Parker again after a fight with David, and pressed into service even as Francine is searching the country frantically for her, with the help of a police detective “who had some vacation comin’” (I swear, if cops in real life had as much vacation comin’ as do cops in books/movies/TV, we could all speed with abandon). But it’s a spy thriller in the sense of the first Mission: Impossible film, where there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes maneuvering and setup rather than nonstop action, and is just as gripping for all that. The book ends with a couple of one-offs, one a story of how Francine and Katchoo met in high school (both poignant and hilarious) and a fever-dream Katchoo has about the two of them being Xena-like warriors, with David as a hapless bard (not poignant at all, but definitely hilarious). What a series this is. If you haven’t discovered it yet, now’s the time: Moore’s new series Echo is getting great press, and he’s just taken over Runaways after Brian K. Vaughan left and they tried to replace him with Joss Whedon (what a great idea that was…). ****

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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