What I thought of Paper Girls #11


Image Comics Paper Girls is I think, my favourite comic being published by the major companies today. Brian K.Vaughan and Cliff Chiang have forged a wonderful science fiction comic that on first glimpse seems it touches the same ground as Stranger Things, but it really doesn’t. This is a comic that concentrates on characterisation as much as the big SF ideas that litter the series but this issue is being pushed as a jumping on point for new readers.


To be blunt; that’s bollocks as if you pick this issue up and its your first issue you’ll be utterly lost working out the time travel and alternate realities the girls have been adventuring through since the series started. That said, if you’ve been a regular reader like myself you’ll be lost as KJ is at the start of this issue.


Of course this being Paper Girls all is not as it seems and we pick up the girls struggling with their travels through time.


Though Mac discovers they may also have travelled through space as well.


What I love about this comic is there’s no way to predict what is going to happen next, and instead of focusing on the twists and turns of the plot, Vaughan makes sure the four girls and how they deal with these situations are the focus. If you are picking this issue up having not read any previously I’d recommend getting the two trade paperbacks collecting the issue so far so you can enjoy this quite glorious comic.

What I thought of Paper Girls #4

Thoughts about #1#2 and #3.


As this issue starts with yet another set of questions being laid out in front of us, it’s worth noting that Brian K. Vaughn’s increasingly splendid thriller/SF tale is like one of those Russian dolls that seem to go on and on, but here Vaughan creates a mystery, not to mention he has our strange armoured protagonists speak a strange yet familiar language.


As for Mac and the others they find out part of the truth about the mysterious men promising to help to heal Erin of her gunshot wound.


Before they can help save Erin, we find out what an Editrix is and how dangerous whatever it is actually is, though thanks to some bravery from the girls they manage to hurt it.


Do the girls escape to save their friend? That’s for you to find out but as this progresses I’m being pulled more and more into this story and yes, the lead characters are still a bit flat, but they’re starting to develop a little bit more this issue into fuller characters but it’s the developing SF storyline that’s driving this comic. It’s drawing from a number of influences (I especially like the Moebius ones) but it’s trying to be its own thing which is great. As usual next issue I’m sure will create more new questions for us…..

What I thought of Paper Girls #3

Thoughts about #1 and #2.


This issue doesn’t reveal the outcome of last issue’s rather tense cliffhanger, but it does start by revealing a bit of whatever is going on and how it’s affected people in this small town in the 1980’s.


This little diversion leads into the resolution of the previous issues cliffhanger and the realisation that Mac and her mother didn’t actually shoot each other. Erin was shot instead.


It’s a shocking scene as our entry character and basically, lead, is shot so early on so the girls have to work out a way to cut through the strange clouds, lightening bolts and flying dragons to get Erin to the hospital and then hope that all the doctors haven’t been taken like everyone else. Unfortunately something gets in the way of getting to the hospital..


From here it gets odd as more twists are chucked into a story brimming with them already, but as enjoyable a comic as this is I feel the plot is overwhelming the characters of the girls a little too much. They need a bit of time to breathe and develop off their own backs but Paper Girls is such a fast paced comic that it’s difficult to let the girls shine through as anything but broad stereotypes.

That’s a small moan though. This comic otherwise works as a fine SF/mystery comic that’s not predictable at all, which is why I’m coming back to it rather than abandoning it after a second issue which I do with so many new comics these days.

What I thought of Paper Girls #2

Thoughts about #1.


At the end of the first issue of this nostalgic 1980’s set adventure/SF comic the paper girls of the title had encountered some very strange people, not to mention some technology that wouldn’t be on Earth for another 30 years in some cases.


The four heroes of the comic are utterly unaware of the situation as these are just four teenage girls trying to do a paper round but they discover everyone else seems to have vanished, and they can’t call the police as the telephone is only broadcasting the emergency signal. So they do what any American probably would and go see if they can get a gun.


Getting eventually to Mac’s house, they meet Mac’s stepmother who thinks this is The Rapture.


Buy the comics to see what happens next…

After only two issues I’m pretty much hooked on Paper Girls partly due to the fascinating mystery Brian K. Vaughan is rolling out slowly, complemented by some nice art from Cliff Chiang, but it’s how the pair are creating some nice characterisations of the girls. Yes, there are still broad strokes, but there’s nice little touches that show that as the series rolls on the girls will develop from the 2D characters they are at the minute.

Paper Girls is a splendid comic, I’d start picking it up now if you haven’t already.

What I though of Paper Girls #1


Image continue their series of publishing comics that try to do something different to that Marvel and DC Comics do, but as is increasingly the case, this is a comic that is like X crossed with Y as this blurb from Image explains.

SAGA writer BRIAN K. VAUGHAN launches a brand-new ONGOING SERIES with superstar Wonder Woman artist CLIFF CHIANG! In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Stand By Me meets War of the Worlds in this mysterious young adult adventure, starting with a spectacular DOUBLE-SIZED FIRST ISSUE for the regular price of just $2.99!

So there’s the pitch. I’m normally very, very wary of comics that are X crossed with Y but Vaughan is a writer who on his day is excellent, and Chiang’s work is different enough to draw the eye, and it certainly does in the rather excellent opening pages.


Of course this is a dream sequence but it helps set the tone of something that could just be a comic that hits various nostalgic notes just for a bit of reader recognition, though thankfully Vaughan and Chiang mainly avoid that. They do however sometimes slip a reference in that’s just to get the reader to recognise it for the hell of it and it lifts me out of the book.


But the characterisation is good, if a tad obvious at times (the plucky new girl, the posh  girl, the smoking and swearing street kid) but Vaughan makes the thing crack along at a decent pace, though there’s not a lot of real insight into the girls themselves as the comic races to get to the next plot beat which means aliens.


Paper Girls is a promising read, and yes, the girls are a bit cliche, but Vaughan makes them likable (even if they are mainly one-dimensional) enough so you become interested in them. As a bit of science fiction it’s alright. There’s nothing too different from what’s you’ve seen before but the last few pages are superb in not just setting up the concept of an alien invasion but it sells the comic to you (it did me) enough to make you want to buy the next issue.

I’d give this a try if you were havering about buying it. It’s a good fun read and I’ll be back next issue to find out where this story goes….