My Summer of Stranger Things is officially over. I mean, it’s never really over, but I figured I should stop inundating y’all with nothing but Stranger Things content and give it a break until next season…
But, I figured that now would be a great time to discuss something in the general vein of Stranger Things, for those who can’t get enough of the sci-fi vibes and eighties aesthetics but want to mix it up a little bit. And that something is Paper Girls.
I first checked out Paper Girls because many suggested that it shared similarities with Stranger Things, and that fans of the show would undoubtedly love the comic series. While the two only compare in a few ways and are otherwise entirely different (and incredible in their own ways), those people weren’t wrong about there being a lot to love.
To keep this spoiler free for those who haven’t read it yet, I won’t be diving into the incredible storyline written by Brian K. Vaughan (Y the Last Man, Saga) or breaking down each issue or trade, but here is a quick synopsis for you:
The day is November 1st, 1988. Erin Tieng is the new girl in Stony Stream (a fictional suburb in Cleveland, OH) and has taken a job as a paper delivery girl for the Cleveland Preserver. While she’s out delivering newspapers in the early hours of the morning, she meets Mac, Tiffany, and Kj. The friends and fellow paper girls invite Erin to join them, because there’s strength in numbers and the streets are dangerous for a girl on her own. But they don’t get far before they’re attacked by a group of teens, and one of the assailants steals Tiffany’s walkie-talkie.
The girls chase the teens to a construction home and down into the basement, where they find what appears to be a time machine…
That’s all I’ll say about the story, so you can find out what happens for yourself. But while the 80s are very much alive in Paper Girls, and this ragtag bunch of girls on bikes is comparable to the gang in Stranger Things, that’s about the only two things these series have in common. They otherwise paint very different worlds and experience very different adventures, both of which are immersive, riveting, and fascinating.
Throw some eighties aesthetics and Halloween decorations on anything and I’m going to like it, but the illustrations and colorings of Paper Girls has far exceeded my wildest hopes and expectations of any comic. Every line and stroke of Cliff Chiang is messy perfection, and Matt Wilson’s use of color (often bright but monochromatic) is breathtaking. I have never taken longer to read a comic than I have reading Paper Girls, because I tend to spend way too much time losing myself in every single panel, absorbing all the little details.
Needless to say, I friggin’ love everything about it. I would honestly say that I may love it just as much as I love Stranger Things, and we all know that’s a pretty serious statement. But Paper Girls is just so good.
And that’s not just my humble opinion. The series has won two Eisners, and its collection has been nominated for the Best Graphic Story Hugo Award for three years running. And, Amazon Studios recently announced that a Paper Girls TV adaptation is in the works with a series commitment.
But don’t wait for the show- the last issue of the series just released yesterday (July 31st, 2019), so you can now read the entire series issue-by-issue. There are also currently five collected trades out right now, with the sixth and final one getting published at the end of September! (I collect/read in trades, so don’t spoil the finale for me until I get my hands on the last one!)
If you’re already needing a Stranger Things fix, or if you’re just looking for a good series, read Paper Girls. You won’t regret it!
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// GEEK :
(noun) obsessive enthusiast, or (verb) be or become extremely excited or enthusiastic about a subject
// ABOUT :
Morgan of House Geek, First of Her Name, Mother of a Ton of Funkos, Collector of Things, Writer of Stories, Designer of Websites, Watcher of Films, and Player of Games.
INTJ. Libra-Scorpio Cusp. Slytherin.
Jack of all trades, master of none.
// FUN FACT :
I prefer purchasing trades & volumes more than single issues. I find them to be more durable, so I can enjoy them more and they can easily stand on my display shelves without boards.