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Paper Girls Deluxe Edition Volume 1 Hardcover – November 21, 2017
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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The first volume was an entertaining and intriguing story, and rated as “Teen Plus”, due to the unladylike language used by some of our young paper-delivery girls - unlike so many independent series from big-name writers nowadays who appear to be following the path of Mark Millar (excess piled on excess) in the hopes of hooking a film deal (though even Mr Millar has gone upmarket with his latest entry in the field - “Huck”).
Anyway, on the surface, this seems to be a small-town America-based story set in the late 1980s, in which a quartet of paper-delivery girls - the first flowering of female equality at a grass-roots level - find themselves in the middle of a Hollywood-style catastrophe, when the entire population of their town vanishes and some mysterious aliens appear.
It turns out, however, that it is more a time than a space invasion - easy enough for us to spot from the outside - but the whys and wherefores are still a mystery, with plenty of cryptic comments flying around to make us want to know more.
But - is it all “real” or not? There is no external evidence to tell us what is really going on, so it could easily turn into something even more unexpected, though the writer is more of a ‘real-world’ one than some of the British/Euro weirdos writing for the independents at the moment, so it is probably safe to assume it won’t turn into a William Burroughs existentialist fantasy (see “Zero” and Secret Avengers by Ales Kot for examples of that). That being said, the main character does have some weird dreams, whose cast include (the then topical) President Reagan and the angel of Christa McCauliffe, and there is a lot of “mystical” imagery bobbing about in them; time will tell.
The second half reveals that it is apparently more to do with time-travel and factions of time-travellers busy correcting/re-writing history for some arcane purpose as yet unrevealed. However, our quartet are now in 2016, where lead papergirl Erin meets her future self, along with more time-travellers and some giant monsters.
So, what is it time-travellers are always told not to do? Well, too late for that now, and older Tiffany - who can’t remember where she got her bullet-scar from - in between fighting chrono-monsters, finding time-lost papergirls, and getting said papergirls to where they need to go, also gives some life-coaching to younger Tif. Time will tell, as they say in these parts.
This is a very entertaining story, by a writer and an artist who are experts in their field, and I hope that my local library keeps buying this series so that I can follow the story and find out what is going on.
Twelve (12) year-old girls Erin, Tiffany, Mackenzie, and KJ are headed out on their early paper route the morning after Halloween ’88. What they expect to see are older kids still out and about, getting into all sorts of mischief and debauchery. What they don’t expect to see are alienistic kids from the future, dinosaur-riding supersoldiers, parallel universes, and colossal tardigrades destroying the city. Starting out as a seemingly quiet evening, the night turns into a race against time to save one of the crew after she becomes separated and sent to another timeline. Along the way, the girls must decide who they can trust and who is leading them to their demise.
All I needed to know going into this was that it was written by Brian K. Vaughan. Having started his Saga series, I will read this dudes grocery list if it is ever published online. I also want to give props to Cliff Chiang because the artwork is gorgeous. Though, at times, the story can become a bit of a head scratcher, it is mostly a straight-forward science fiction flick turned graphic novel and is a very entertaining read.
All in all, Paper Girls is a fun and thrilling ride and is perfect for fans of Stranger Things, or to reference a movie from a few years back, Super 8.