Women Who Succeed: Strangers in Paradise?

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Discover the best of shopping and entertainment with Amazon Prime. Prime members enjoy FREE Delivery on millions of eligible domestic and international items, in addition to exclusive access to movies, TV shows, and more. Back to top. Get to Know Us. English Choose a language for shopping. She has her hands tied, because Francine is dating a jerk, but she's not trying to get the girl or anything, she just wants to see her friend happy.

Katchoo is extremely devoted to Francine and her loyalty seems unlimited, which is very dysfunctional. To be honest, the Strangers in Paradise is absolutely perfect, especially for those interested in feminism, gender equality and LGBT relationships. To be honest, they're both fucked up, but what's the fun in being normal? I love it when Katchoo gets violent, by the way. I wouldn't trade her acid humor and cruel jokes for anything.

I'm slightly obsessed with this series. Someone I don't remember who eagerly recommend me this, and even though I wasn't very interested in reading it, I finally resolved to see what the fuss was about. Well, I don't get it. The characters are, in my opinion, nut jobs who need to chillax a bit and the story was just nothing special. But, what the hell, I don't know how Moore does it, but I want to keep reading to see where the characters are headed maybe the madhouse. So, I'll probably read the next volume and we'll see. Feb 22, lucy black rated it it was amazing Shelves: graphic-novels-and-comics , wish-list.

Mar 14, Allison rated it liked it Shelves: real-world-fiction , graphic-novels , female-protagonist. It's really hard for me to review this divorced from the rest of the series. I love Strangers in Paradise, despite some things being problematic. But I also feel like maybe years from now it'll seem quaint and dated and the things that I so easily overlooked in the series because it fills such a void in what is written won't be so easy to overlook with better books around. This shouldn't scare anyone off from the series as a whole but volume 1 is rough in general and it's almost worse when looked at in the context of the series.

If you read it alone and purely view it as a humorous story based around a bunch of stereotypes it might be fine but it sucks as a starting place for these characters that grow so much more nuanced over the series. I'd advise readers to give volume 2 and 3 a chance, especially volume 3, even if you had no interest in this.

Women Who Succeed : Strangers in Paradise by Susan Durbin (2015, Hardcover)

The art is terrific though. That's consistent from the beginning. Jan 21, Patrick rated it did not like it Shelves: All these Strangers in Paradise collections are fucking horrible, I can't even begin to describe the lameness. Two really boring female characters in their 20's, one is a former call-girl and is secretly in love with the other. This is basically a case of some douchebag horny guy making a comic book where he can explore how he feels lesbians might act, and it all comes out as laugh-out-loud stupid or just boring to anyone who lives in the real world.

This concept was done waaaaay better by the H All these Strangers in Paradise collections are fucking horrible, I can't even begin to describe the lameness. This concept was done waaaaay better by the Hernandez bros. Feb 25, Michael Anderson rated it it was amazing.


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Very well drawn and written. Characters a bit over the top, it's almost a black and white parody of male-female relationships.


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But I enjoyed it and will read more if I can find it. Jan 25, Simon Brilsby rated it really liked it. The eye, reddened and swollen, does not cry, not even quivering to predict tears. This is life. A two thousand page exploration of the lives of two women, Francine and Katchoo, whose relationships filial, romantic and platonic bloom, whither and still-birth before us. The first volume, only three issues long, feels like Moore winding his characters up to see how they run, testing the dramatic potential of their relationships to decide whether a grander undertaking could be set upon.

While the tentative reader should not limit their trial run to this initial outing, it does nonetheless function as a microcosm of the entire series. Moore sets up Katchoo and Francine, their relationship to each other and their relationships to the wider world. Katchoo, the reader infers, seems a bohemian, but unrooted, twenty-something with a love-hate mostly and professedly hate relationship with men, and an aching love, both romantic and friendly, for Francine, her roommate.

A belief undeterred by boyfriend, and arse, Freddie Femur. Although these early issues take place in a slightly cartoonier reality than the series proper, with casual recourse to comedic violence, Moore grounds events in reality, making sure consequences extend from actions. When Katchoo finds out Francine caught her boyfriend cheating on her another mark against a character Moore draws as a caricature of male entitlement she exacts on him a revenge most swift and most foul.

Cue the next morning and the reader sees Freddie strung up in a shop window, naked spare a clown wig, with a magnifying glass focussed on his carefully obscured genitals. Most writers would end that plot there. Poetic justice has been carried out, one of our protagonists has been avenged. Not Moore, though. A terrible decision made one issue will not be forgotten by the next.

In a way this one event foreshadows the interconnected web of the entire series. Events tens of issues ago will return, sometimes like a shambling drunk you remember you wronged, and sometimes like a congratulatory letter in the mail from that contest you forgot entering. Bit characters introduced as a few lines of idiosyncratic but disposable dialogue reappear as minor, or even crucial, characters.

The unreserved part is crucial. Halfway through the series Moore highlights the on-again-off-again relationship between Katchoo and Francine, where as soon as they seem to take the definitive plunge one or both of them retreat because of something rash, or merely non-conducive, one or the other of them does. Keep it simple. By playing out what could have a short story and in some ways was a short story in the first three issues over thousands of pages and years of in-universe time Moore explores his central theme with the exhaustiveness necessary to communicate it.

But then, platitudes are the hardest things to prove, being so often repeated by half-articulate tongues that people become vaccinated against the sentiment. Sleep only when you are tired. Far from being unrealistic the series is, emotionally, one of the most true to life works out there. Maybe they give the series a spice of idiosyncrasy?

Maybe every return from thriller mode refreshes the slice-of-life sections, because a sustained slice-of-life narrative would have grown stale? Only occasionally does it fall off its tightrope into action movie theatrics. The thriller plot, like the halfway-charismatic host of a party, though seemingly necessary to the whole affair, cannot help but make a sink in your stomach whenever they come up from behind to start a conversation.

But who knows, maybe this through-plot broadens the potential audience. Apart from these narrative branches the series feels utterly believable, with characters leading organically branching lives.

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Moore commits, in the genuine endings, only to hazy denouements, acknowledging that the remaining course of a life could not be set out in a few finishing pages. Even the most conclusive ending closes with what seems a wink from the characters and Moore. A door closes on you, the reader, implying that while the story ends here, their lives go on. What ends is merely your window into them. For most illustrators this would be an increase in quality as they get their eye in.

As I mentioned earlier, the first three issues feel cartoonier than the rest. A cartoonist must always have an eye for body language.

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Lacking the tones of voice film lends and the internal analysis of thought prose lends, he must communicate the nuance of dialogue through how he positions a body. Moore very quickly achieves a style with subtle body language, but the beginning marks itself with hyperbolic poses. Many illustrators have a limited repertoire of distinct faces, but in a series with so many characters it gets particularly bad. Moore has created a large and varied cast of authentic characters.

From a narrow patch he seeds a plot whose branches spread wide and overlap. The worst I can say of this series is it falters, though never falls, whenever it strays from its slice-of-life path.


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Yet another technique he employs over the course of the series, the fabrication of thematically relevant artwork e. Oct 06, Kate Lansky rated it did not like it Shelves: graphic-novel. People tell me all the time that I'm terrible at being a girl. This is referenced later by something along the lines of 'I dunno - I guess I've spent my e So This is referenced later by something along the lines of 'I dunno - I guess I've spent my entire love life reacting to that one moment'.

First, there wasn't a single character in this who I liked. Honestly, not one. Everyone is a stereotype of awfulness - one is a clingy, needy straight girl who is dating a horrible slimeball, and her roommate is a man-hating angry lesbian bad girl who used to get suspended from school back in the day.

We just get the vague impression that he doesn't take Katchoo seriously about being a lesbian, which is insulting to say the least. It's like some guy at the bar going "Well, you just haven't had the right MAN yet". These people were just such I felt like there was this spark, this iota of possibility in each where if they'd just been written differently - even if they'd been going through the same exact story - you might have had a chance of liking them or understanding them.

But nope, straight out messes, every single one. I'm also just not a fan of the art style. The faces in particular feel very reminiscent of old Archie comics, and that makes it even harder for me to take these characters seriously. I didn't like the artwork, I didn't like the story and the main characters are both horrible.

Katchoo is insane. She's a terrible person, violent, rude and full of hatred, she's dangerous and should probably be either in jail or committed. Francine is a hysterical idiot. She acts like the victim all the time, when all that's been happening to her has been the result of her own choices. Freddie is outrageously and with no reason at all portrayed as a bad person in the beg Yeeeah Freddie is outrageously and with no reason at all portrayed as a bad person in the beginning how sexist of him!

OMG, the misogyny! He's a cheater, a womaniser, he's sexist and homophobic and he's also corrupted and stealing money from his clients. And all this, to make us sympathize with Francine and Katchoo, whose actions are batshit crazy either way. Poetry was pretty decent, though, and David was a fairly nice character. I'm surprised, since every other man in the book has been an awful, sexist pig, but David is OK.

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Women Who Succeed - Strangers in Paradise | Susan Durbin | Palgrave Macmillan

Bottom line: I have a strong reaction to works of art trying to force feed me ideas. I like to question things and be challenged, that's what I want from a work of art. Not hitting me repeatedly on the head with "Feminism for Dummies". Apr 24, Holly rated it it was ok Recommends it for: people who like boring comics. Shelves: comics. I read this for the class I'm taking on gender in comics, so I was pretty much thinking about gender the entire time. As far as that goes, superficially Terry Moore draws women more "realistically" then most comic books, which he should because this is a book about regular people.

On the other hand, and especially after I saw the little character breakdowns included and how he was describing Katchoo and Francine, I feel like this isn't so much Terry drawing women realistically as it is Terry jus I read this for the class I'm taking on gender in comics, so I was pretty much thinking about gender the entire time. On the other hand, and especially after I saw the little character breakdowns included and how he was describing Katchoo and Francine, I feel like this isn't so much Terry drawing women realistically as it is Terry just liking his ladies a little chubbier than most comic book dudes.

They were incredibly sexualized and Francine especially is stuck up on some golden wonderful-life-fulfilling-woman pedestal. It felt a lot like guys who say "I don't like girls who wear a lot of makeup and diet all the time. Story-wise I found this incredibly boring.

Oh well! I did, however, really love the way Terry lays out his pages.

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I'd love to read a book by him that wasn't about his girlfriend fantasies and had some interesting action in it. Feb 06, Valerie Anne rated it it was amazing Shelves: lgbt-win. Katchoo is the embodiment of my relatively new misandrist side. May 09, Mo rated it it was amazing Shelves: graphicnovels. More info here. Ebook can be read and downloaded up to 6 devices.

Ignore and show page. Susan Durbin. Format: pages, XI, p. For Libraries. Larger Image. Description Table of Contents Author Biography Goodreads reviews The number of women in senior management remains stubbornly low after decades of research and debate, despite the increase in the number of women in the workplace, their academic attainment, numerous government enquiries and milestone changes in equality legislation.

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