I knew pretty much nothing about Paper Girls going in, but it's by Brian K. Vaughn of Y: The Last Man and Saga fame, and it was available on Netgalley, so I hopped right on board. And even with no expectations, it surprised the heck out of me. I kind of want to suggest that everyone go in knowing nothing, but my Awesome Buttons are not the same as everyone else's, so maybe it won't hurt to give you a little hint.
It's the 1980s, and four paper girls are riding together the morning after Halloween, because that can be a rough time to be on the streets at 4:00 in the morning. These girls aren't friends, exactly, but they're all tough in different ways, and they have an alliance of sorts. Some toughs are a little threatening, and some skulking figures seem sketchy, and then weird things start to happen.
Like, really weird. People missing, others speaking strange languages, creatures--reality is bending, and the girls are trying to stay alive, find safety, and figure out what's going on. We're talking volume one, so most of the mystery is only hinted at, but it's kind of incredible.
I think what I love most is the mistakes they make, though. When they're in danger and find they have access to a gun, some bad decisions go down. People who should be reliable panic. A lot of bad stuff with bad consequences happens by accident, because people are making decisions fast, in the moment, with no information. When reality bends in half, this is what it's really going to look like--half the danger is the mess.
The '80s setting is also just wonderful. However tough these kids are, it was a simpler time, and maybe more innocent. There's definitely a nostalgia factor here. And Vaughn's got a gift for a cliffhanger, so each issue ends with a big gasp of a reveal. The end of the volume is the biggest one, and it's probably giving us the clearest idea of where things are going next; I really can't wait for number two.
How can Vaughn produce so much awesome in such quick succession? I don't know, but let's keep him busy.