Strangers in Paradise: It’s a Good Life!

Two weeks ago I had it made.
Two weeks ago I was dead.

My review of Terry Moore’s Strangers in Paradise series continues with It’s a Good Life, the third trade paperback.

Title: It’s a Good Life (Issues #10-13 of the second series)

Author: Terry Moore.

ISBN: 1-892597-02-0

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Freddie Femur plans to marry Casey, but he continues to obsess over Francine. Francine and Katchoo are evicted and must move to smaller quarters. David returns, complicating the sexual tension that has been growing between the two women. We see more of Katchoo’s criminal past and David’s criminal connections, but this segment of the story focuses on the relationships, which Moore handles better than anyone in contemporary comics—- and better than he does the thriller material.

High Points

Moore makes Freddie and Casey’s relationship a laugh a minute– for everyone but them. Their wedding day is one of the funniest segments in comix.

Low Points

I realize that the story continues after this book, but the ending to this portion is predictable and anti-climactic. It’s especially disappointing because it follows a high point.

The Scores

Originality: 3/6 It’s a Good Life doesn’t offer much that we haven’t see before.

Artwork: 5/6. Moore depicts his characters’ attitudes very well. The book features some strong work, though few of the remarkable experiments that we see in some of the other issues.

The business with the love-birds is either hysterically funny or cruelly depressing, depending on the reader.

Story: 4/6. These issues, by themselves, don’t have an especially strong plot, but they’re enjoyable. We also see Rachel, who will be critical to future developments.

Characterization: 5/6. I can’t add much to what I’ve written in past reviews. We see a good deal of Freddie here. He’s a comic caricature, of course, but he’s a very good caricature.

Emotional response: 5/6 Moore originally intended to create a newspaper strip, and his ability to find humor in a range of situations is evident.

Flow 5/6.

Overall: 4/6 This issue contains a number of nice Mooresian touches. Bjork appears as an obnoxious little girl on the plane, accompanied by an anachronistically-dressed grandmother who is reading The Story of O. A sleazy nerd videoclerk reads a parody of a cheesecake comic. While Francine tries to rent the lesbian movie Go Fish, he reminds her that she owes money on past rentals—of decidedly hetero female material.

In total, I Dream of You receives a score of 31/42.

The Timeshredder’s reviews may be found here.