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CSBG Archive

A Month of Good LGBT Comics – Strangers in Paradise

In conjunction with Prism Comics, the preeminent website for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) comics and creators, every day this month I will be detailing one good comic book/graphic novel with LGBT themes.

Here‘s an archive of the featured works so far!

Today we look at a love story that took more than a decade to tell!

Strangers in Paradise is the offbeat love story of Francine and Katchoo, two best friends where one of the friends (Katchoo) had slightly less platonic feelings for the other (Francine).

The story, as it was printed in the first three-issue mini-series by Terry Moore at Antarctic Press, was a pretty straightforward story of a woman, her best friend (who is secretly in love with her) and her jerk of a (soon to be ex-)boyfriend.

In the second volume, done through his own Abstract Studio, Moore added some intrigue in the form of David, the third angle of the love triangle of Strangers in Paradise.

Katchoo loved Francine. David loved Katchoo. Francine…well, okay, I guess it is not exactly a love triangle, because Francine loved neither of them.

In addition, an action and adventure storyline was added in the second volume involving a secret group of lady spies who were out to get Katchoo.

The book eventually moved to Image for the third volume.

But Moore decided to take it back to his own publishing company…

And he eventually ended it just last year with the 90th issue of the third volume.

As you might imagine, with over 90 issues to tell a love story, things are likely to slow to a crawl at times, and Strangers in Paradise definitely had some “treading water” moments in the third volume, but eventually, Moore found a groove which he rode all the way to the book’s climax.

The artwork by Moore is nice and smooth – he tells a story well, and each issue is packed with story. This is a hefty read, and an entertaining and endearing one with lots of great characters that you will soon grow to love.

Well worth reading!

Here‘s the website for Strangers in Paradise.


One of a kind.

Maybe the best of its kind.

Neither pornographic, or sexy for that matter.

All about human relationships (with any gender).

I highly recommend Hero Video Productions’ Terry Moore: Paradise Found video for fans of SiP, which is an extended interview with Moore about the comic. If nothing else, it’s a video record of Moore admitting that he was making it all up as he went along, which really explains a lot about the softer spots where the book feels repetitive or like it’s fumbling for a new, sustainable plot line.

I abandoned the trades after “David’s Story” (around vol. 13, I think), but bounced back for the final issue, which I enjoyed a whole lot. Someday, I’ll go read the rest.

Edward, that’s pretty funny, because you dropped it just as it got good again (well, not JUST, but close enough! :) ).

Don’t get me wrong, I certainly don’t blame you for dropping it when you did, as it certainly was wallowed in the mire at that point, but from #71 to the final issue, the book really had a nice story going. I think it was about then that Moore truly allowed the story to, you know, move forward! :)

SiP was the first comic book I ever read that actually moved me to tears. Yes it fumbles at times (the serial killer story told in prose), but it was one of the most satisfying books I have ever read. I recommend this book to everyone. A lot of my friends who don’t even like comics loved this series.

Terrible comic. I read the first four volumes and wanted to demand my time back (I borrowed them from a friend). It’s melodramatic, cheesy, awkward, and probably the most UNtrue to life book in terms of characters and relationships that I’ve ever read. It’s a step above the really crappy romance-action genre fusion stuff that will creep up from time to time, but well below, say, good Buffy slash fanfic.

I’ve always been more the cape and tights type when it came to comics, I’ve read some comics outside the big two universes, I’ve enjoyed titles like Kabuki, The Crow, I’m a fan of a lot of Dark Horse Titles, but when it comes to “SIP” I really became attached to the book, every time my pull list was getting to big it was always the top of my list to drop, but I never did. Even the letter page was great the fans of this book were so protective of the characters, I really enjoyed the work. Now I am stuck on ECHO. Goods Good! later!

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