Wednesday, May 31, 2017

#ComicsWednesday: Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan & Cliff Chiang

Writer Brian K. Vaughan has established a solid reputation as the creator of science fiction comic series that are both popular and critically acclaimed, including Saga, Ex Machina, and Y: the last man. His recent, ongoing collaboration with artist Cliff Chiang is no exception. Paper Girls features a twisted sci fi plot and has earned its creators two Eisner awards.

If you're a fan of science fiction adventure stories and eighties nostalgia (think Stranger Things), you should probably check out Paper Girls. The story features four 12-year-old girls who gang up to survive the danger of teen boys out to make trouble in the early morning hours the day after Halloween in 1988 Ohio. The danger quickly escalates when the girls encounter a gang of scavengers who aren't in costume and a strange device in the basement of a house under construction. It's hard to fully convey the sci fi weirdness without giving away major spoilers, so you'll have to trust me when I say it's cool and only gets cooler in the second volume.

The story is very plot-focused, but even with minimal time for character development Vaughan and Chiang manage to give them distinct personalities. There's an overall snarky tone that helps to lighten the danger the girls are facing. While characters can, and do, die, as a reader I was left feeling like Tiff, Mac, KJ, and Erin are likely to not only survive, but save the day.

Cliff Chiang's art is generally very good, but every now and then I was bothered by quirks in how he draws people. Then another action sequence would start, and I would be lost in the story again. I loved the color palate, which as a non-artist I can best describe as muted, menacing pastels. It's an unapologetically girly touch that I definitely appreciated.
~Sarah, Adult Services

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