I have owned the Pocket Book editions v1-3 of Terry Moore's Strangers In Paradise for a few years. In that time I have repeatedly picked up volume 1 but have never been able to get all the way through it. I have no idea what makes a book an easy read for me, and what makes it one of those things where the planets need to be aligned just right for me to get past the first few pages.
I liked what I read each time. I liked the art. I have no issue with black and white comics. I have no problem with slice of life or relationship drama or thrillers or... anything really. In fact, with it's emphasis on characters and character development, and no shortage of compelling female characters in all shapes and sizes(Look! there's a character that gains weight yet is still portrayed as attractive and as a person... that's positively Love & Rockets!!) this should be an ideal series for me.
So why did it take me so long to finally get through the first volume? I'm just slow I guess. Seriously, I'm way slow sometimes. I only got into Sandman and Hellboy and Preacher, etc. in the past three or four years.
Strangers in Paradise is terrific so far. I am not the biggest fan of all the prose and poems and lyrics in it, but I respect their use. The art is terrific and expressive, it captures the characters and their emotions perfectly. In a few cases I get mixed up as to which character is which, but that never lasted long. Moore also makes use of Tex Avery style animation art and Sugar and Spike influenced cartoon styles in dream sequences to hilarious effect. This is a well done book by someone with a real knack for using the medium to full effect. There is a lot of real emotion between characters, It's good stuff and I highly recommend it to anyone that doesn't mind actually reading comics.
A side note that has recently been pointed out to me is how similar Frank Cho's women are to Terry Moore's. Man... They are really similar. I'm not sure that means anything. I have met both Terry Moore and Frank Cho at Comic Con's. Both seemed nice. This little bit really isn't going anywhere. Some day when I get through the series I will post something actually in depth about it.