Binge-worthy Backlist Bonanza: Terry Moore’s ‘Strangers in Paradise’

Looking for something to read while stuck at home? The Smash Pages crew recommends a meet-up with ‘Strangers in Paradise.’

In the current climate, many industries are in a standstill as people isolate and wait out the coronavirus. The comics industry is no different, with Diamond Comic Distributors shutting down, leaving comic shops without a supply of new weekly comics.

With that in mind, we’ve introduced a new feature this week, Binge-worthy Backlist Bonzana. While new comics might not be arriving for a while, your local retailer, favorite online site, digital comics provider or even favorite creator can still supply older comics that you might not have read yet.

Today Corey Blake revisits old friends between the pages of Terry Moore’s Strangers in Paradise. Watch for more from the Smash Pages crew over the next days and weeks.

In this age of social distancing and isolation, there is a strong need to reconnect with old friends, fictional or otherwise. Cartoonist Terry Moore has an uncanny ability to create instant lifelong friends in his comics. His current project Five Years brings together characters from almost all of his previous comics into one storyline. As that series (and all comics) are forced into a pause, it’s a good opportunity to revisit old friends.

Each of Moore’s comics lean into a certain style and genre, like the science-fiction/superhero vibe of Echo and the horror/thriller Rachel Rising. It’s hard to go wrong with Terry Moore, but if I’m reconnecting with old friends, my heart will always be with Strangers in Paradise.

The long-running series introduced a cast of characters centered around three friends, Francine, Katchoo and David, that allowed Moore to explore friendship and romance with a wide lens. The world had a flexibility that allowed a range, from light-hearted comedy to tense crime and heartbreaking drama that explored the depths of trauma.

Moore’s art is endlessly likable and has yet to stop improving. Strangers in Paradise was his first comic book series. Right out of the gate, he showed a mastery of storytelling and expressive characters that only strengthened from issue to issue.

To help during the Diamond Comic Distributors blackout, Moore this week announced he is offering comic book stores to order direct through him at wholesale prices (essentially the same prices stores would get if they ordered through Diamond). So if you want some new friends and to help out an acclaimed indie creator and your local comic store, see if you can get something through your favorite store or buy direct at Abstract Studios.

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