Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'Paper Girls' #1 by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang and Matt Wilson


★★★★★ (5/5)

Think of your favorite coming of age "kids in peril" movies of your youth. Goonies, Monster Squad, or even Stand By Me all had distinct characters, relatable or funny personalities that helped carry their memorable adventures and were seared in your mind. Paper Girls #1 has that kind of power, innocent with a sense of adventure in a brand new series that has all the makings of a classic.

It's not surprising either considering the heavyweight talent behind this beautiful and engrossing story. Brian K. Vaughan has a way of creating instantly endearing characters that are birthed whole with individual voices, attitudes, and viewpoints. We first meet Erin in mid-dream. A  strange and vivid dream that could prove to be foreboding. It's November 1, 1988, and Erin has work to do. She's got a paper route to complete just before dawn. 

It's not just an exercise in nostalgia, although the 80's are well represented in so much background detail especially one poster of the aforementioned Monster Squad in Erin's room, Paper Girls perfectly showcases a time when a group of girls could meet on their bikes and do their route free from today's much more cautious atmosphere. It allows Vaughan to explore this sleepy suburban community in Ohio with the freedom to find some early morning strangeness. 

And strange is found quickly. Some teens bully Erin but Mac, KJ, and Tiffany quickly descend on the scene. In a matter of panels their personalities, bravado and cohesiveness are fully on display. Mac stands out for her no-nonsense and aggressive demeanor. The other girls aren't pushovers but Mac is clearly not to be trifled with. They decide to finish the route in groups and a friendship is born. 

Cliff Chiang unsurprisingly creates fantastic character designs that are uniquely defined and fleshed out in almost three-dimensional ways. The varied hairstyles, the individual clothing, freckles, a dangling cigarette and all the beautifully rendered backgrounds transports the reader into the story. When things get weird and suspenseful Chiang creates great tension with a surprising reveal.

If anyone says colorists aren't storytellers hasn't seen the transformative work of Matt Wilson. Can you imagine The Wicked and The Devine without his vibrant colors? In Paper Girls Wilson is the arbiter of time and space. It's quite literal in the opening dream sequence that takes place in space, but the rich bold colors heighten the action and the senses. Back in reality, the turning of dusk to dawn is gradually reflected in the shadows, the tone of the scenes, and especially the skies. 

Paper Girls is the culmination of three master craftsmen at the height of their talents telling a character-driven story with unexpected twists. This oversized first issue is a bargain at twice the price. The series defies usual comic book conventions with no capes in sight or category to fit them in. It's simply a good tale told with perfection. With issue one, Vaughan, Chiang, and Wilson have conjured up a story that can go anywhere with characters that matter in a beautifully organic way. If this doesn't describe a classic in the making I don't know what does. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

DC Comics March Movie Poster Variant Covers are Fantastic

DC Comics may have outdone themselves with their running themed variant covers for the month of March 2015. After some fun and gorgeous variants in 2014 like Darwin Cooke (December), LEGO (November), and Bombshells (June) to name a few DC Comics is continuing to bring some creative covers in 2015. January will feature Flash throughout the company line in celebration of his 75th Anniversary, February will bring everyone’s favorite wild card, Harley Quinn, on DC covers, and perhaps the best mash-ups of comics and famous movie posters will arrive in March.

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …

Chuck Palahniuk and Cameron Stewart Return for FIGHT CLUB 3

FIGHT CLUB 3 asks, “What's the first rule of fatherhood?”


Bestselling novelist Chuck Palahniuk, Eisner Award-winning artist Cameron Stewart, letterer Nate Piekos of Blambot, colorist Dave McCaig and acclaimed cover artist David Mack will collaborate on the follow-up to the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling graphic novel FIGHT CLUB 2. In the 12 part monthly comic book maxi-series FIGHT CLUB 3, Marla Singer is about to deliver her second child, but the daddy isn’t her husband—it's Tyler Durden, who’s very invested in his heir, and the world he’ll inherit.


Marla, her first son, and her husband—the unnamed narrator in the novel, who now goes by Balthazar—live in a run-down motel in a sketchy neighborhood. In the FIGHT CLUB 2 graphic novel Tyler transformed Project Mayhem into Rize or Die. Now, a new group has implemented a ruthless and deviant plan to fine-tune mankind, leading Balthazar to forge an unlikely alliance … with Tyler Durden.


“FIGHT CLUB 3 is about what happens when you need …

REVIEW: 'Death or Glory' #2 by Rick Remender and Bengal

After a raucous debut, 'Death and Glory' takes a weird turn. Like a really weird turn. Imagine David Lynch and Quentin Tarantino had a baby and out came out issue two of this new series from Rick Remender and Bengal. The question is is that a good or bad thing?


DEATH OR GLORY #2  
Writer: Rick Remender Artist: Bengal Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: June 6, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
With a botched heist job, a bullet in her side, and all her money gone, Glory wrestles with what to do next. The cargo her ex-husband was trafficking wasn't drugs but people and after putting them all safely on a bus to Arizona, she's broke and being attended to by one of the Brazilians that stayed behind. Her scheme was pretty straight-forward - rob the money that the dirty sheriff was going to transport and use it for her dad's surgery. Easy peasy. Then it all went to hell as the sheriff recognized her, she dropped the money, and now no one is happy, not the sheri…

The Feminist Vigilantes of MTV's 'Sweet/Vicious' Come to Comics at Black Mask Studios

Women Vigilantes Get Justice For Sexual Assault Survivors In Upcoming Comic Book That Continues The Edgy MTV Series


Premiering one-week after the 2016 Presidential Election, SWEET/VICIOUS was one of the first new TV shows of the Trump Era: an edgy and provocative tale of two young women becoming vigilantes to combat sexual assaults on their college campus. As grimly relevant today as it was two years ago, SWEET/VICIOUS will continue the story of feminist vigilantes Jules and Ophelia with a comic book series written by show-creator Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, coming in 2019 from Black Mask Studios. 

The SWEET/VICIOUS comic will be a continuation of the story started in season one of the series. After Jules was raped and her University did nothing to help her, she takes matters into her own hands becoming a vigilante who seeks justice for survivors of sexual assault and other abuse at her school. When the campus weed dealer and all-around troublemaker Ophelia Mayer finds out about Jules&#…