Issue #1 – 8
$2.99 | 24pgs
Brian K. Vaughn, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson
“You’re suddenly racist in weirdly specific ways against other Asian people?”
Brian K. Vaughn (Saga) and collaborator Cliff Chiang (Wonder Woman) have joined forces to craft an entertaining tale which currently asks more questions than it answers.
For fans of the fun classic pre-teen adventure film The Goonies, the coming of age drama of Stand By Me, or the recent sci-fi favorite, Stranger Things, Paper Girls is the comic book equivalent. Shockingly, however, Paper Girls manages to be even more bizarre than those properties by immersing the four teenage heroines in a mind bending, time traveling adventure that incorporates elements of science fiction and fantasy.
Taking place during the late eighties, the first story line introduced readers to the newest newspaper delivery girl, Erin, on the first day of her route. Quickly the rest of the girls (MacKenzie, Tiffany, and KJ) are introduced and the adventure soon begins.
Once things start happening in this book, they happen fast!
This proves to be good in terms of creating a pace that feels relentless as the girls quickly become embroiled in one situation after another, the reader is forced to keep up by paying attention to everything on the page but little explanatory information is doled out over the course of the first four issues.
Shortly after Erin meets her fellow paper girls, two of the girls have an encounter with what they believe to be ninja ghosts speaking an indecipherable language and discover a strange device in the basement of an abandoned home. Buttons are pressed, lights flash, the stars’ change, monsters rain from the sky, future space knight astronauts appear, and the girls are forced to deal with the most terrifying threat of all: teenagers! A good chunk of the first four issues involves the girls having to learn to trust that not all teenagers mean them harm. Even teenagers from parallel timelines or possible futures riding pterodactyls.
As the series embarks on its second story arc the girls come face-to-face with their future selves, clones of themselves, and learn their potential fates while searching for a missing member of their group. With every turn of the page Vaughn introduces some ridiculous new element that remains firmly grounded in the reality he and Chiang have created. It is a delicate balancing act, but one he has proven over the years to be adept at, while his artistic collaborators successfully walk a fine line of their own.
In many instances artists render young people as small adults instead of the children that they are. Cliff Chiang imbues the leads with a youthfulness and energy that is appropriate for the story and their ages. The girls look like young girls, wearing clothing appropriate for the year and their individual personalities while also depicting them as being realistically fit and formidable for the foes they face. The story may be all Vaughn but without Chiang setting such a magnificent visual tone and Matt Wilson providing the colors, the series would not be nearly as good as it is.
Each issue is printed on high quality paper allowing Wilson’s colors to truly POP off the page, providing the final ingredient of this superb new series. The high quality of the work and the care taken in presenting each issue is great for collectors. Personally, I have begun trade waiting the series due to how good the collected editions are as well. Whichever way you choose, Paper Girls is a series that should be added to your pull list subscription.