By Kelly Richards

Giant Days is a brilliant, weird, funny comic about three girls living together at Sheffield University in the UK. Created by John Allison and drawn by talents including Max Sarin, Lissa Treiman and Whitney Cogar, the series has been going strong for several years now, and has amassed a rightfully devoted fanbase.

As it’s set in England, though, and because Allison has such strong instincts as a writer, there are a lot of jokes and references which might fly over the head of the international audience. Here, then, are our annotations to help guide you through life at Sheffield University, provided by our Head Annotator Kelly Richards!

Page 1:

What Susan has failed to realise here is that if the children are bouncing, they are at least outside.

See what I mean – now they are all inside playing no holds barred corridor chaos ball (NHBCCB).

You probably know about getting your tubes tied right? Yes? No? Well just in case, it’s a surgical procedure, usually referred to as tubal ligation or tubal occlusion, in which your fallopian tubes are blocked, tied, or clipped and that results in sterilization. (Over 99% effective according to the NHS website). However, as a med student Susan should know how difficult it’s going to be to get her tubes tied. Unless you have a pretty serious medical condition it’s almost always a no before the age of 30 and even then they don’t like to do it if you haven’t already had kids. 

Page 2:

Apologies, the children are in fact playing All Ball Premier League (ABPL), which has a surprising complex rule set.

I feel like a byproduct of dating McGraw is the development of a certain level of preparedness, hence the upholstery shears. You never know when you are going to need to do some emergency upholstery.


Page 3:

Make sport with his body is an incredible euphemism for sexy times.

MUG mug. 

Those are shears and if I know that there is no way that McGraw doesn’t. I mean look at them! The finger holes are different sizes for a start!

Cutting paper with scissors or shears designed to cut other things such a fabric will cause the blades to go blunt and will at some point just straight up ruin your day. 

Susan can be your angel or your devil.

Page 4:

Halloween Meltdown sounds like something I would have bought tickets for when I was in undergrad. 

Panel 3 is something. I know it is something but I can not squeeze it out of my brain.

It makes me want to watch some Marty Feldman movies – Editor

I think my mam might have a sexy optimus prime costume? It’s either optimus prime or bumblebee. There were a lot of fancy dress hen nights in the early 2000s. 

Soundcloud rap is still c-list emo, Esther. 

Lil Brexit. *Sigh*

It’s not over McGraw… it’s just not doing great.

Does anyone else assume that when someone knocks the door with 3 rhythmic thuds that it’s the police? I wouldn’t answer it anyway,

Page 5:

This is what happens when you mess with local urchins.

You don’t see a young woman out and about in rollers very often these days. With the matching pink tracksuit it’s a very media representation of single mums on a council estate – and I don’t know if I should be offended on their behalf. 

This is Yorkshire, Kelly! We wear this here!

As we know, back in 2018 the NHS was at breaking point. However, In 2021 it’s still at breaking point. I’m sure that £350 million a week they were promised will be starting to come through soon though, eh?

Impetigo is a skin infection that makes you look like you’re covered in pus-y cornflakes. It’s not terminal, you just need to take antibiotics for a few days.

Page 6:

Daisy wants to be a lion.

Zombie Gilmore Girls is probably a good idea. Actually I just looked them up and there are only 2 of them. That’s not enough girls, you need a 3 girl zombie team surely? Who is Emily even? The nan? Why would she want to be a zombie nan? Daisy should be a lion. 

Speaking of nans, Ingrid’s new bit looks a kind of like nan, don’t you think?

Page 7:

Very slick distraction countered by extreme maturity.

I don’t have a good reason for thinking this, and this is the first time I’ve read this issue but if that naked plague doctor turns out to be Dean I swear to god I’m quitting.

When Daisy says his bits she means his downstairs junk. Thanks Kelly

Page 8:

Depending on who you ask Ubuntu is either an African philosophy or free open source software.

Esther is a good friend and sometimes a street is just bad and there’s nothing that can be done about it.

Page 9:

Nice fluffy pubic hair. 

I would like to see Ingrid’s naked plague doctor boat man. Man boat?

I don’t know if this is a John and Oko thing, or a Charles Manson and Dennis Wilson thing, or just an offhand cults and co-writing comment that I’ve taken entirely the wrong way.

Page 10:

It’s true that she can’t afford to be a gibbering wreck anymore, but she also doesn’t need to be. She has so much more going on for her.

Daisy is really coming into her own as the student accommodation mother hen. Some people really flourish when they are given external responsibilities.

While this may be the case, Ingrid is rude to say it.

Page 11:


Daisy is far too nice for any of this.

Page 12:

I love Nina.

The Fast and the Furious is a wonderful franchise of 8 movies and 1 spin off that feature many cars, fights, and explosions. Each instalment is more ridiculous than the last. If you haven’t seen any of them, you should check them out.

The Fast and the Furious movies do not have complex plots, they have Vin Diesel.

Cathouse is old-timey slang for brothel.


Oh no, Dean junk

Jealous, Esther? Nina is built like a Celtic warrior queen and that is nothing to be ashamed of.

Page 13:

My understanding of chops is being mouthy, or gobby, or generally loud and obnoxious. So for example my nan on occasion would call me a chopsy bitch on account of my being a little gobshite. To lose one’s chops would mean to become quiet or meek, and hiding from an angry local mum is definitely an example of this.

1 in 3 people in Abersychan are also villains so I completely understand.

Confirmation bias is the tendency to favour information that supports whatever belief you already hold. And the villain “statistic” is not confirmation bias, it’s true.

A headband? Like John James Rambo? Badass.

Page 14:

She shouldn’t have come. You suck.

Is that the tail of a lion costume I see poking out of Daisy’s bag? Let’s hope so!

Oh it’s definitely not up to code, floating McGraw head.

Page 15:

I like to believe that this isn’t an English-as-a-second-language thing and that Dickon is only able to provide a single benefit.

You did a bad thing Ingrid, and she’s not your Daisy.

Page 16:

Daisy is a lion!

Really going hard on the sexy plague doctors this issue.

According to Freud, who we know never said anything completely wild or unfounded, the id is the primal and instinctive part of our unconscious self. 

A tizzy is a sort of nervous excitement – and I suppose the last time Esther was in close proximity to a sexy plague doctor there was all that nice fluffy pubic hair.

That’s awfully menacing Susan.

Page 17:

Costume Spotters – Round 1: Batman! Joker! Dipper Pines! Sexy Witch! Bojack Horseman or maybe miscellaneous horseman! Teenage mutant ninja turtle! Sapphire! Ruby! Skeleton! Giraffe!

The best time to drop a bomb like that is just before you disappear into a crowd.

Nothing good ever happens as the result of tequila.

Page 18:

Costume Spotters – Round 2: Angel! Devil! The year 2000! Zika Virus! Big Bee!

This is what tequila does to you! It makes it so you cant even recognise your enemy in their regular clothes. Complete villainy.

High school bathroom justice is the reason I can comfortably hold in a wee for 9+ hours. Is it healthy? Probably not. Did it stop me getting bullied in a dirty comprehensive school toilet? Absolutely.

Page 19:

Costume Spotters – Bathroom edition: Triceratops! 

Ingrid drying her pits like she’s Madonna in the 1985 hit Desperately Seeking Susan.

Page 20:

Sheer brutality from Ingrid here.


Page 21:

Some times, in the name of being a good friend, you will get drunk and do a stupid thing. And you will always feel like a complete reject when your plan is stated back to you. 

Her insults are surgical! Phenomenally precise.

As far as I can recall no one has ever regretted a kebab — so lamb doner with everything on, boss. Yeah all the sauces please. 

Page 22:

See, no regrets.

A Chevy Matiz is a teeny tiny car that looks like it was drawn by a child. Its like a little roller skate.

What is that moony expression?? She better not be thinking about plague doctors.

Canine distemper is a potential fatal virus that affects a whole bunch of mammals so she should probably get that checked out.


Giant Days #41

Written by John Allison
Drawn by Max Sarin
Coloured by Whitney Cogar
Lettered by Jim Campbell


Kelly Richards is an Eisner-winning critic who has written for sites including WomenWriteAboutComics and Sidequest. You can find more of their thoughts over on Twitter here! 


This post was made possible thanks to the Shelfdust Patreon! To find out more, head to our Patreon page here!