Wednesday, January 24, 2018

[Comic Book Review] Paper Girls Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan & 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. Suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries collide in this smash-hit series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood.


CW: homophobia (that is challenged by another character), attempted suicide, and mention of rape. 

This was a lot of fun! I'm loving the 80's setting and pop culture references. I was born in the 90's so my knowledge of pop culture in the 80's is not huge. However, I did catch a few and it was done naturally so it felt authentic. I was a little unsure about reading Paper Girls because I've read Vaughan's Saga comic series and although in the moment I enjoyed them a lot I don't remember much about the story now. However, I have a feeling Paper Girls could be different because it's more up my ally. Obviously only time will tell but I think I will retain the events in Paper Girls more than in Saga. 

I really enjoyed reading about the four girls who are all on their paper route. All four were really fun and distinct but honestly I would have liked more time getting to know them. I am hoping the next volumes will have more character development for the girls. I liked that although Erin, the main character, was a newer addition to their team they still took responsibility of helping her out throughout the story. 

The leader of the gang, Mac, definitely has some homophobia issues that I'm hoping as the volumes go on she learns aren't okay. When she says a homophobic slur or when she loudly voices her disgust when a guy character mentions his boyfriend she is called out by her friends immediately. I liked that her homophobia is challenged. But I have a theory that Mac is closeted and in denial about it, which is making her lash out on anything gay to prove how not gay she is. If I am right, it'll be a good character arc for her and I think she will become a better character. Of course that is only my personal theory, since I've only read the first volume. 

The artwork done by Chiang is gorgeous and one of my favorites I've seen in a comic or graphic novel in a while. I love the style so much and the colors (done by Matt Wilson) made it even better. They were vibrant and totally a style I'd want on my wall. When I want to put the art on my wall I know I've found a new favorite artist.  

This comic volume is definitely more plot driven vs. character driven and the plot can get a bit confusing. I think it is easier to follow than Saga, but it still feels all over the place. I think my biggest problem is that we needed more information. I am totally chill with unanswered questions so we have something to look forward uncovering in future volumes, but I don't think the reader is satisfied enough to know what's going on. I can see readers possibly not continuing the series because they weren't given enough plot or characters to care enough about either. So although I do plan on continuing the story, Ii can see where some readers may not. 

Overall, I do not recommend this volume! The girls are badass, the story (although a little confusing) is super unique and interesting, and the artwork is beautiful. I do warn to go into this series knowing it's a bit confusing but I am assuming (hoping) the next volume will answer some questions and let the reader in on who the girls are a bit more. 

Thanks for reading!