In the style of a School Library Journal Review
VAUGHAN, Brian K. Paper Girls. illus. by Cliff Chiang, Jared K. Fletcher, & Matthew Wilson. 144p. Image Comics. Apr. 2016. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781632156747.
Gr 9 Up
This full-color, glossy comic is fast-paced, explosive and interesting. The plot follows twelve-year-old papergirl Erin as she is attacked while bicycling on her newspaper route the morning after Halloween in 1988. Rescued by three other adolescent papergirls from a group of menacing teenage boys, Erin barely has a chance to catch her breath before things get crazy. As the sky turns weird colors and monsters, pterodactyls and weird figures with laser spears appear from nowhere, people all over the town begin to disappear. Erin and the other newspaper girls quickly develop a rock-solid alliance, and discover that their town has suddenly become the site for not one but two groups of time-travelers: a group of poor scavengers who mine biological information and other information from the past to feed the future, and a group of super-powerful time travel regulators trying to stop them. With clear parallels to Stranger Things, the comic also resembles Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba’s Umbrella Academy in its apocalyptic time-travel themes, incessant bizarre twists, persistently upbeat and witty dialogue, and strong language from children. While the dialogue seems a little overwrought at times, the fast pace doesn’t stifle the characters’ development and the plot jumps along at an even, entertaining pace. Cliff Chiang’s art and Matt Wilson’s colors are sharp, vivid, and hallucinatory, and action-packed pages never feel crowded or confusing. VERDICT A refreshing, readable, juicy, punk addition to science fiction comics for teenagers and adults. Hal Schrieve, Queens Library.