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Brian K. Vaughan – Paper Girls, Vol. 1

July 5, 2017

34. Paper Girls Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson, and Jared K. Fletcher (2016)
Paper Girls, Vol. 1

Length: 144 pages
Genre: Graphic Novel, Science Fiction

Started/Finished: 30 June 2017

Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? Random browsing (my library had it on one of their end-cap displays and the cover caught my eye), plus Brian K. Vaughan’s usually pretty reliable.

The dangers of a
paper route don’t usually
involve time travel.

Summary: When 12-year-old Erin gets up early in the morning for her paper route on November 1st, 1988, there’s still some post-Halloween weirdness on the streets. When she starts getting hassled by some older teenagers, she’s rescued by three other paper girls who ride together for protection. But soon they start coming across things that are weirder – and more dangerous – than even the most hardened paper girls can be expected to handle: creepy mutant ninja guys, weird alien machines stored in abandoned basements, and people in armor speaking a strangely archaic form of English and riding giant pterosaurs.

Review: I’m not entirely sure what to say about this one yet, other than that it’s bizarre and I have no idea what’s the hell is going on but it’s cool and I like it and sure as hell am going to read the next one. It’s the sort of stuff that would make for a terrible cheeseball movie (kind or reminiscent of a lot of 1980s sci-fi, actually, which is probably intentional), but somehow in graphic novel form it’s easier to just shrug and go “Okay, giant pterosaurs with future space-soldiers on them. Right.” Probably because drawing it in a book where everything is drawn is easier than making realistic VFX. And the art is quite good, but what really sets it apart is the coloring – it’s very tonal, all blues and purples and oranges (since this is all happening in the very early hours of the morning), which makes the bright pops of other colors really stand out. The characterization is still a little weak – most of this volume is spent introducing all of the elements at play, so there’s not a lot of development of the paper girls themselves yet. But I trust that that, along with some clue as to what the hell is happening, will be coming in future volumes. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: It’s still early days, but I enjoyed it and am looking forward to more, so if you like sci-fi and 80s nostalgia, this is probably worth checking out.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 6, 2017 9:15 am

    This is on my TBR for the #booziebookathon we’re hosting in a couple weeks… Picked up a copy at BookCon this year. Its been staring at me ever since.

    I am excited for 80s nostalgia… does it give the same feels as Ready Player One by Ernest Cline?

    • July 6, 2017 11:22 am

      Not quite — or maybe just not yet? I think the 80s nostalgia I got from this is less about specific references like Ready Player One, and more from the bizarre nature of the plot, and how if this were a movie instead of a graphic novel, I could totally see this as cheesy 80s sci-fi with terrible green screen effects and a synthesizer soundtrack.

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