Roughly once a month I take a look at the upcoming releases and I get giddy with glee, for one of my favorite ongoing series. That is none other than Paper Girls of course, from the excellent storytelling to the very distinctive art style. I never seem to walk away from an issue with any disappointment, it seems to have the perfect mix in each one, just leaving me at the end to want even more.
The first arc of Paper Girls was clearly nostalgic with big touches of Sci-Fi elements and begins to get into timey wimey stuff (my favorite). With the art style and story telling you to get a clear retro 80s vibe. For those of you that enjoyed Netflix’s Stranger Things, this is something you should definitely pick up and take a look into, it is well worth your time. It replaces the interdimensional travel with time travel, but hits a lot of the same notes, I feel like the two should share the soundtrack.
Leading up to this issue we found out that one of the characters from the past has a particularly grim future. One of the downsides of time travel is finding out things that you probably never really wanted to know. Finding out something this heavy leads to some interesting character development and it will be interesting to see where this character goes with this knowledge.
In Paper Girls #8 we find ourselves continuing the story in present time (2016) with Erin (present and the past), Mac, and Tiffany looking for the lost KJ. Leading all of the characters to the Stony Gate Mall, including yet another Erin, from the very distant future. Plus we get to see some very big and ugly bug like monsters that are appearing, surely due to all of the time shenanigans going on here.
Vaughn touches on some societal issues here, specifically talking about issues that arise from the cops within Cleveland. He clearly isn’t afraid to voice his opinions on current affairs and he pulls it off without being preachy, by peppering in comments here and there. Usually bringing these issues into a comic can be problematic, however here it fits the narrative and isn’t abused or out of place.
The theme in each issue always seems to be a build up to the end page, always leaving you wanting more. With the first few issues doing a lot of world building this can be at times very frustrating, leaving you with more questions than answers. After issue #5 that seemed to balance itself out, with enough payoffs in each issue to keep you wanting more, mastering that last page cliffhanger. This issue is no different, building to a big close and leaving us a reveal that gets you excited to see what comes next.
Chang as always makes this book a pleasure to stare at over and over again. Really hitting the nostalgic 80s vibe, with his sketchy art style, and beautifully paced panels. Pair that with Wilson’s vibrant color pallet and you have the perfect art to convey the story. If you’re not reading this book yet you really need to start.
9 / 10
Reviewed by Tim Montoya Paper Girls #8 Written by Brian K. Vaughn Art by Cliff Chang, Matt Wilson, Jared K. Fletcher, Dee Cunniffe Published by Image Release Date: August 3rd, 2016