Paper Girls #16
Paper Girls is a series based on four small town newspaper delivery girls in the USA who stumble upon a battle between time travellers in their 1980s Halloween setting. They are inadvertently sucked into time travelling with their new mysterious acquaintances, after an accident with a gun, and travel through drastically changing time periods using Apple like technology, where a futuristic faction hunts them. Issue #16 sees them transported to the cusp of 2000, with one member of their group accosted by the police and the other three searching for a new lead to discover why they are tumbling through time and how to get back to 1988.
Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang are admittedly two men serialising the lives and woes of four teenage girls, for which they will never be able to experience or fathom the grief or tribulations of such a time. However, if we have to have men conveying these experiences to women, who better than Vaughan and Chiang. This particular issues focuses on Tiffany’s memories of being told she was adopted, but previous issues have covered puberty, sexuality and the family lives of the four girls. Vaughan handles these issues with delicacy and tact, and in some aspects really manages to conquer the psyche of teenage girls. I feel though the raw anger and drama that teenage girls possess perhaps is missing, with the exception of Mackenzie. Chiang conveys expression with expertise and manages to give physicality to the topics Vaughan throws at him.
Cliff Chiang’s artwork is unlike any I have ever seen, the images are raw and gritty but somehow perfect. His panels are often broad and exploratory, he spends great lengths developing scenery and of course they are coloured magnificently by the highly talented Matt Wilson. The vision they have brought together shows our Earth in various stages of its own seeming apocalypse, but it is stunning and ablaze with colour.
This is the comic that got me into comics. I often hear on community forums that it is a comic aimed at woman, and that some readers have grown bored of the ever spiralling universe. However, in my opinion the character development is as interesting and relevant as ever, the additional string of characters that seem to appear in every episode does not befound me, but is a mere representation of life, especially when you are being warped from one era to another, it is hard to keep friends.
Having heard Brian K. Vaughan speak at Thought Bubble 2017 I couldn’t be more founded in my choice as Paper Girls as my first ever comic. He is conscientious of making sure his whole team is paid fairly and gets to contribute to the series, as well as being determined to provide his audience with a range of characters who represent the world we live in. It is hard as a woman to stand in a comic book shop strewn comics depicting half naked over sexualised representations of women to not feel uneasy or belittled. I originally went to my local comic book shop to see if we could find anything for my 5 year old son who had just started reading alone. This circumstantially was the month that Paper Girls #1 was released, and it was immediately an eye catching relief.
Perfect comic series for those first getting into comics, perhaps not overtly interested in superheroes but more sci-fi, looking for strong female leads and apocalypto storylines. Starting with one of the paperbacks or the first issue is advised.
Use of English:
- Future age language that is a form of text language and English slang used, requires deciphering
- Reduced words, “dunno” “wanna” “gonna”
- Invented stories for the series
- Otherwise standard English with standard grammar.
To prep- to prepare, to make ready
Ablution- cleansing process
Y2K- the event of the year 2000 where everyone was worried a cyber bug would take down our computer systems.
Hindrance- something that makes a process more difficult, resistance
White Pages- telephone book or directory, in UK English the Yellow Pages
I have this on subscription since it came out in 2015 and will do until its end.
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist : Cliff Chiang
Colourist: Matt Wilson
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