Paper Girls: a graphic revelation

Brian K. Vaughan, with artist Cliff Chiang, has delivered a praise-worthy sci-fi graphic novel series named Paper Girls. The time-travel series is set in the 80s and follows four friends who face the remote past and distant future as they discover who they ought to be, all while facing militant warriors and monsters.

The narrative is about four adolescents delivering newspapers in their neighbourhood around Halloween in 1988. The characters portray many facets relatable to young women to this day, be it financial hardships, sexism, or poverty. Whether it is about coming from a family with money troubles, dealing with racist remarks, or being underestimated by being the town’s first paper ‘girls,’ each character struggles with grievances of their own. It is a thrilling tale of sci-fi monsters and time-travel machines. However, the heart of the novel is the brilliantly flawed character-arcs that are felt beating out of every page.
Chiang masterfully depicts the aesthetics of the 80s while the use of shades of pink and blue complement the disorienting nature of the narrative. The experience of the series can be described as being flashed with neon lights: unexpected and other-worldly. Paper Girls stands, quite poignantly, as a realistic depiction of four troublesome girls and their time-travel escapades.

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