Written by Brian K. Vaughan
Art and Cover by Cliff Chiang
Colors by Matt Wilson
Letters and Design by Jared K. Fletcher
Published by Image Comics on October 7, 2015
I am Erin (see byline and comparison photo). I was a preteen in 1988, sporting the same hair and stone washed jean jacket (though mine was pink). I was tough (especially in defending my friends) and responsible and Catholic. I had that pastel Sharp boombox, the jelly bracelets, the four-color pen, the love of The Far Side. I had Tiffany’s Reebok high-tops and KJ’s stirrup pants, turtle neck, and overlarge sweatshirt combo outfit. I had many pairs of those slouch socks. So the setting of Paper Girls is uncannily familiar. The juxtaposition of elements of my childhood stored deep in my memory and the creepy, sci-fi unknown has awakened an immediate, obsessive engagement in me.
Nov. 1, 1988. “Hell morning” for four 12-year-old paper girls. Teaming up to minimize the abuse they might take from lingering drunk partiers, Erin, Mac, Tiffany, and KJ run into a completely unexpected adversary, and they’re clearly not locals. Image marketing calls it Stand by Me meets War of the Worlds. Vaughan brings his characteristic mix of the mundanely familiar and the fantastical to the storytelling, while Chiang amplifies the realism through his attention to detail, and Wilson color contrasts early morning blues with neon pink and yellow to evoke the late 80’s era and highlight emotional peaks. And in short, the collaboration is a-MAZE-ing.