The Daily Comic Book Coffee, number 40: Strangers in Paradise #1

The Daily Comic Book Coffee, number 40: My girlfriend Michele is a huge fan of Strangers in Paradise, which was written & drawn by Terry Moore. SiP is a semi-comedic soap opera that eventually ventured into mystery and crime noir. I figured there would probably be at least a few coffee-drinking scenes in SiP. Flipping through the first “pocket book” trade paperback from Abstract Studio, I found one from the very first issue of volume one, which was originally published by Antarctic Press in November 1993.

I asked Michele if she could briefly explain what SiP was about. She started telling me how it was about two women, Katrina, aka Katchoo, and Francine, who are best friends. Katchoo is bisexual and is attracted to Francine, but Francine is straight and wants to one day have children. Making things even more complicated is David, an artist who falls in love with Katchoo. After attempting to summarize the various plotlines that Moore had running through SiP over the years, Michele finally shrugged and said “It’s complicated.” She then suggested I look it up on Wikipedia.

Michele also had this to say about Strangers in Paradise…

“My issue with SiP is that it borrowed from Love and Rockets in regards to the (that word again) “complicated” relationship between Maggie and Hopey. SiP does manage to steer into its own plots. Just that similarity. Terry Moore is a great artist.”

In this scene from the very first issue, Katchoo and David have met for the first time at an art gallery, and David has convinced the very reluctant Katchoo to have a cup of coffee with him. They walk over to the coffee shop in a rainstorm, and when David suggests to the sneezing Katchoo that she take off her wet clothes, she goes ballistic. It’s a funny scene that establishes right off the bat that Katchoo is assertive, but also very melodramatic. The scene ends perfectly with a waitress who deadpans “How about that de-caff now, honey?”

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