Strangers in Paradise, vol. 10: Tropic of Desire

Writer(s): Terry Moore
Artist(s): Terry Moore
Publisher: Abstract Studio
ISBN: 978-1892597151
Price: $12.95
Page count: 104
Year Released: 2001
Status: in print
Original Source: Strangers in Paradise (vol. 3) 39-43
Other Collected Edition(s): Strangers in Paradise Pocket Book, vol. 4
Genres: humor; romance/relationships
Recommended for Fans Of:
Possible Objectionable Material: none
If You Like This Book, Try:
Also in This Series: preceded by Strangers in Paradise, vol. 9: Child of Rage; followed by Strangers in Paradise, vol. 11: Brave New World

Plot Summary
Volume 10 begins with an entertaining homage to Charles Schulz (who died shortly before this volume was published) and his Peanuts comic strip, with Freddie Femur taking on the role of a down-in-the-dumps Charlie Brown. Several months have passed since Francine and Katchoo parted ways in Tennessee, and Katchoo is living in Hawaii with David. Unfortunately, despite a night of passion between them, David realizes that Katchoo is too much in love with Francine to feel the same way about him. Meanwhile, in Tennessee, with her wedding just days away, Francine's mother--fearing that Francine is suffering from cold feet--invites their minister over to talk to Francine. She has a choice to make, it's clear, but what--or whom--will she choose? We then jump forward several decades into the future where Francine's daughter, Ashley, is a grown woman pitching her novel, Strangers in Paradise, to a publishing house in New York City. The editor turns her down, expressing her concern that the story is too repetitive: Francine and Katchoo get together, then break apart, then get back together, etc. Disappointed, Ashley goes outside to be consoled by her subjects, Francine and Katchoo, now in late middle age.

My Own 2 Cents
This is a text-heavy volume that moved slowly for me the first time I read it in installments. I wasn't sure where Moore was going with it, particularly the jump forward where we learn that Strangers in Paradise--the comic book we've been reading for years--might be nothing more than a figment of Ashley's imagination (and the editor's metacritique of SiP seems a bit defensive on Moore's part). But all I can say is that it makes sense when you read the next volume. I also appreciate the Peanuts homage that opens this volume, because it succeeded in actually making me feel sorry for Freddie. It proves that Moore is capable of instilling even his most obnoxious characters with a little pathos.