There is a lot going on in this issue, there is a lot going on in this whole book for that matter, and it is just getting crazier the further we go down the rabbit hole. This book is written by Brian K. Vaughan, who is someone I wasn’t extremely familiar with when I started back reading comics a few years ago, but since then has become someone that, when they appear on a new book’s creative team, you DO NOT want to miss it. This book is no exception- you do NOT want to miss it.
I loved this book, because it was something completely unlike anything I was expecting it to be- this book is nothing like Saga, which is probably where most people got their first taste of Vaughan, like I did myself. I think that the depth of the world building Vaughan does is evident in Paper Girls just like it is in Saga, but there is really something very different about this book than Saga. The time travel and sci-fi elements of this book feel very out of place at first, where Saga is steeped in those sci-fi elements.
I love how different the characters are in this book- as a thirtysomething male, it is difficult to put myself into the place of a teenage girl, having never been one myself- but Vaughan’s writing doesn’t feel stereotypical or reductive when it comes to these young ladies. Plus there is such a large cast of characters (growing more and more with each issue) and none of these characters feel wooden or one-dimensional.
The artwork on this book is something else all together; the work Cliff Chiang does crafting a world that looks at home set in the 1980’s AND in some strange, futuristic locales is so detailed and thorough, while still feeling so natural and effortless in its craft. Matt Wilson’s colors really drive home those times as being so separate- the 1980s are bright and neon, while the futuristic settings are often darker or colorless and white. The soft pink colors of the interior of the spaceship/pod thing are so very different from the purples and pinks of the evening skyline.
We don’t get a very long look at **SPOILERS** the new time period our intrepid Newsies are dropped into at the end of this issue, but from the character we are introduced to and her wardrobe choices, we can imagine that there will be an entirely new set of colors and designs to take shape in this new timeline; PLUS there’s the whole issue of **SPOILERS** where exactly KJ went to on her own.
I loved seeing the old guy who seems to oversee the adult time-travelers make an appearance that is more boots-on-the-ground than being the guy on the other end of a phone call, and getting some good visuals of the pterodactyl and it’s rider was something I was really looking forward to in this issue.
I don’t really know much about being a teenage girl, or a newspaper deliverer, but I do know that this book is gorgeous, engaging and totally unique. I love reading this book every month, and I am glad that Image is working so hard to create so many different and unique titles that are such amazing books to read every month. Books like Paper Girls really show that the best stories don’t have to be capes and cloaks stories, and don’t always have to come from the big two.
This book is a hugely compelling argument that the independent publishers are doing as good a job (if not better) of bringing stories to their audiences that they well and truly WANT to read. This book is one that I love reading each month, and I really hope that more and more people are reading this book- or maybe I should start a Paper Girls delivery service where we toss copies of the book on your porch Wednesday mornings. That’s a thing, right???