Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan | Comic Review

Sunday 12 July 2020

I was already familiar with Brian K Vaughan's work since I had read Y: The Last Man and the first five volumes of Saga. But when my friend Figbar was moving away and was getting rid of some of his stuff, he gave me a bunch of comics and in that stash I found Paper Girls. A 30 issue series that's a quick and very fun read. Here's my review.

I love comics, but it's easy for me to get burnt out. Especially with Marvel and DC. There are just a million crossovers and huge events that mean you have to buy issues from series you never bought before. And if you don't do that, you tend to get lost. Also, there's the constant question of what is currently in cannon and what isn't. That's what I like about publishers like Image, IDW, and Boom (to name a few). They tend to have series that don't go on forever and even if they're long running series, they tend to not have a million crossovers. I know that the 30 issues of Paper Girls is it. As far as I know there isn't a sequel or any spin offs. I still have the entire Final Crisis/ Blackest Night/Brightest Day run with every single issue, but that takes up a whole short box of comics. So instead of diving into that hubbub, why not tackle a short but thoroughly enjoyable series?

Paper Girls is about four 12 year old girls, Erin, Mac, KJ, and Tiffany, who deliver newspapers in a fictional suburb of Cleveland. It's the morning after Halloween 1988 when the town is invaded by a mysterious force from the future and the girls are caught up in it.The series ran from October 2015 to July 2019 and was published by Image Comics.

I got sucked into this series right away. Vaughan created four very different and unique characters that I grew to like and care for as the story went on. These kids were believable. They weren't goody two shoes little girls but they also weren't written like adults. They had a good mix of child and adult qualities which was a very realistic. It was also nice seeing a story about four young females who didn't just sit around and wait for someone to come save them. It was impressive that it was a female centric comic with kids and it was done well. From my male point of reference, Brian K Vaughan writes women well. That is to say, there weren't any glaring problems that stood out to me. My wife is reading this series now and thus far, she has no problems with it. So that's a good sign.

The story got confusing at times but it I always eventually got it. The girls kept getting into trouble the whole time, but it always made sense. The flow of events worked, which isn't always easy to do with a story involving time travel, but Vaughan was able to keep the story moving without it going contrived.

The only issue I really had has to do with the ending so it kind of limits what I can say, as I don't want to spoil the whole thing for you. What I can say with that there were certain aspects of the story that didn't seem to matter at all in the end. There were a few things the girls did that had no effect on the outcome. This could be a good thing. It could show that sometimes things are just out of your control. But to me it just felt like parts (but not all) of the girls' struggle were pointless.

That aside, Paper Girls was good. It was a truly unique story with well written and engaging characters that kept me turning the pages from issue 1 to issue 30. Even though I liked it, I'm still glad it ended because it never got the chance to get stale.  If you're interested in a good limited run comic series, this is it.

Paper Girls by Brian K Vaughan gets an 8 out of 11

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