Book Reviews / Comics

Paper Girls, Vol. 1 Review: First Jobs & Suburban Mystery

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Early on in Paper Girls, Vol. 1, there’s a panel which shows a Monster Squad poster on the bedroom wall of one of the main characters of the series. This is not by happenstance. Full of ’80s references, Paper Girls wears it’s love of the decade’s genre of movies revolving around a group of kids coming together to find themselves while battling evil/the government/anything supernatural/the Fratellis, on its sleeve. And while it starts off more like E.T. or The Goonies, it ends up feeling a little more like The Lost Boys or Super 8 by the end.

Paper Girls is the story of four, twelve-year-old girls who start off their day like any other; waking up at 4AM and delivering papers around their neighborhood. Being that it takes place in 1988 on the day after Halloween, you might expect for the girls to come across teenagers dressed as Freddy Kreuger or the Terminator (and they do) wandering the streets in the early morning, but what the girls stumble upon is some serious suburban drama that will end up being the top story in those same papers they deliver every morning.

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To go into too much details about the plot would be a huge disservice to those interested in reading it but what I can say is that Paper Girls is pretty messed up, ya’ll! But in a good way. While I would have liked a little more character development for KJ, Erin, Tif and Mac, the direction Paper Girls’ story goes (especially toward the end) had me very intrigued. I certainly wasn’t expecting the sci-fi elements that were quickly introduced. While it’s all a bit confusing and all over the place, the payoff at the end is great and I can’t wait until issue #6 hits store shelves next month.

Paper Girls, Vol. 1 was written by Brian K. Vaughan, the writer of Saga and The Private Eye with art by Cliff Chiang, who previously worked on Wonder Woman. The artwork is simply gorgeous and evokes memories of the decade with its bright, pastel, neon-colored palette. The writing is also top-notch. My only concern is that some of the language makes it difficult to recommend to kids who are the same age as the characters. But that’s a minor concern as Paper Girls seems to be betting on nostalgia for those who think back fondly with memories of their first job and going on adventures with their friends.

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Paper Girls, Vol.1 came out of nowhere for me. The premise brought me in but the fantastically bizarre things that happen will keep me coming back. Look out for this series in 2016. With the way things end in Issue #5, all things point to a satisfying run in the near future.

SCORE: 8.5 out of 10

A copy of Paper Girls, Vol. 1 , which contains Issues #1 – #5, was provided to Pixel Related for review.

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