Don't mention it to my girlfriend, but I think I am falling in love with Terry Moore, or at least his talents as an artist and storyteller. After having read the final issues of ECHO at last, it seems timely to mention just how very talented the man is. Oh how I envy that talent and drive. I started reading Stranger In Paradise properly in recent weeks.
For years I'd heard great things about this odd black and white series about someone that sounded like a sneeze and her friends. Now, Katchoo and Francine seem like family members. The trades of Strangers in Paradise are worth every penny of the cover price, and I encourage you to buy them and read them again and again, even if you are familiar with the stories they tell.
Why? Because after a while, Strangers in Paradise (as with ECHO as well) becomes much more than sequential art and speech bubbles. It becomes something you can find a great deal of solace in.
Those characters may be physically nothing more that black and white squiggles, but their motivations, their needs and wants are very real indeed. They laugh, they cry, they argue and they evolve. They're as real as you and me in many respects. Francine and Katchoo swiftly become people you would love to hang out with (just be wary of Katchoo's temper), and Terry Moore's gorgeous art style never fails to bring them to life.
His linework is beautiful, the facial expressions of his characters containing much more movement and fluidity than the lines seem to suggest. His backgrounds are immaculate, his characters kinetic and very believable, his stories are heartfelt, shocking and moving.
When you hand money over the counter for something with his name on it, you know you are buying quality. When you read Terry Moore, you're reminded other people have problems too, and this can help you deal with your own. I can certainly vouch for that. I've been rather stressed of late, with bouts of depression and myriad worries for the future. I'm sure you can relate.
It's stuff like Strangers in Paradise (Od my DVDs of SPACED, or The Breakfast Club, or Ghost World) that I turn to in dark times, times of uncertainty or just when things get a bit too much to deal with. Escapism is one thing, but sometimes you need to feel like someone out there understands that life gets complicated. It's for things like that which have made me fall in love with the work of a very special creator indeed. Dear Terry Moore- Thank you.