#42 – Strangers in Paradise by Terry Moore

Terry Moore’s self-published 106-issue book is next up on our list, one of only a handful of books mentioned not to be distributed by a publishing house. Strangers in Paradise is 100% Terry Moore’s vision and it is an astonishing feat that he managed not only to write and illustrate it, but also to have the determination to make sure it was printed onto the page and delivered into graphic novel fan’s hands.

There are two stories at work within the pages of Moore’s work; one is the complex relationships that play out between Francine, Katchoo and David. Throughout the story the three are involved in a love triangle that seems to be as confusing to them as it is to the reader. Against this, Moore moves things along with a thriller story about a dodgy organisation trying to manipulate the political system of America.

This is the kind of work that helps elevate the graphic novel to sit alongside other forms of fiction and media. It is a story about people, love and relationships. All the characters seem real because they all have their strengths and flaws, and wants and desires. You can tell through the writing that this is a work of love for Moore, and that he has a lot of himself invested in the characters he puts on the page. To do all this without the security of having a major publisher behind him, well that’s just impressive.

From the first second I spent reading Strangers in Paradise I knew I was getting into something special, and it is a book I will always come back to. This series is best recommended to graphic novel fans who want more realism from their books, and if you like comics like Daniel Clowes’s Ghostworld then you’ll love Strangers in Paradise.

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