I’ve always been drawn (get it?) to comics. That came as no surprise to me either when I was hired in a comic shop earlier this year. Here is the thing: how did I miss the preview of this title? I’m still shocked I could miss it in Previews, but I’m so glad I picked it up.
Paper Girls, lovingly written by Brian K. Vaughan and with art by Cliff Chiang and colors by Matt Wilson, had me on the edge of my seat during all 20 plus pages of it. Before sitting down to read, I heard that it had been touted as “Stand By Me” meets “War of the Worlds.” Awesome. This is a book I can get on board with! Read a little further and I hope that you will too.
Opening up with a very vivid dream sequence, we soon after find our lead in Erin, a preteen paper girl who is proud of her profession – even if that means waking up at 4:00am to start work. It’s Hell Morning, the night after Halloween; November 1, 1988. Slinging her bag of newspapers over her back, she goes out into the night – beautifully rendered by Chiang’s hand and Wilson’s colour palette.
After running into a gang of costumed teenage boys who berate Erin on her route; she is saved by KJ, Tiffany, and MacKenzie – three other Paper Girls on duty; who offer to team up with Erin. They split up to cover more ground, taking walkie talkies with them (which Tiffany spent a pretty penny on, thank you very much) and go out to deliver. From here, we learn that one of Tiffany’s walkie talkies was taken by a masked creature that has run off into the night. MacKenzie has some of the best lines of dialogue in this first issue, and when she tells whoever is on the other end of the line that they’re coming for them – you better believe they are. This is especially apparent with the slick progression of the story so far.
Following the trail into an abandoned house, the girls come upon some sort of fleshy machine that goes a little haywire. Not soon after, they find those masked creatures and – well, some great fight scenes go down. I don’t want to go into much further detail, but suffice it to say, some really weird shit happens that is just beyond great.
If you’re into science fiction, if you’re into 80’s nostalgia, or if you’re just a Vaughnophile: then check out Paper Girls. Just be sure to come in with an open mind – I have a very good feeling this story will become a fan favourite.
Disclaimer: I am employed in a comic book store, where I purchased my very own copy of Paper Girls. I am no way affiliated with Image or its subsidiaries. This review is purely anecdotal.