This is probably the most challenging review I’ve ever written. I just love Paper Girls so damn much that words seem to fail me. The only thing that seems appropriate to say is: “what are you doing, wasting valuable time reading this when you could be reading Paper Girls instead?!” But apparently, in the world of comic-reviews, that just won’t do.
From two absolute legends in the comic-book world, Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man; Saga; Lost; Runaways) and Cliff Chiang (Green Arrow/Black Canary; Human Target; Architecture & morality), we have a female-led, coming of age story that is quite literally, out of this world.
Paper Girls is a story of four, somewhat typical, 12-year-old paper delivery girls. One seemingly normal morning, they are out on their bikes, delivering papers, when they find themselves unwittingly plunged headfirst into a mysterious, sci-fi adventure caught in the middle of a war between time travellers.
Paper Girls is a stunningly drawn, sci-fi mystery that somehow pulls you in and then doesn’t let you up for air until the final page. It’s a fast, easy to read comic about time wars that will stick with you, somewhere at the back of your mind, way after the story is finished and done.
The 80s, Dungeons & Dragons and Stranger Things, these a few of my favourite things. So really, it’s no wonder that I love Paper Girls. Part of the comic-book magic is their ability to completely transport you into the characters’ minds, bodies, and souls and make you see the world through their eyes.
This power of perspective is part of what truly brings a comic to life and helps make it feel like the experiences within are your own. Strip away all the mystery and sci-fi elements, and you’re left with what Paper Girls is genuinely all about: Growing up. It’s a ‘coming of age’ story about finding out who you are and who you want to be in a world that constantly tells you to be something or someone else.
It’s about the constant struggles we face growing up, relationships, friendships, prejudice, homophobia and then the added struggles of just being a woman… all while trying your best to be a good person despite your upbringing.
If you haven’t read Paper Girls before, then this is the perfect time to jump in. Not only did Amazon order the TV adaption last year, but I think we could all use a little “girl power” to help us through 2021.
Want to pick up Paper Girls for yourself? The entire series is currently available in the following formats: Digital; Single Issues (30 issues); Graphic Novels (6 books) or as Deluxe Hardcovers (3 books)
You can get up to a 20% discount on your next comic book purchase over R300 at Critters and Comics by using the “Glitched20” coupon.