Pa­per Girls

Comic Heroes - - Feature -

Writer: Brian K. Vaughan Artists: Cliff Chi­ang, Matt Wil­son Pub­lisher: Im­age Comics

This is the se­ries to guz­zle up while wait­ing for the sec­ond sea­son of Stranger Things. At first glance, it feels very sim­i­lar to the hit Net­flix show, about a cast of young mis­fits who have to fight crea­tures and time­trav­el­ling aliens in their sub­ur­ban town. A dar­ing state­ment, per­haps, but it’s also weirder and bolder than any­thing on Stranger Things. Set on Hal­loween in 1988, Pa­per Girls is a per­fect homage to the ’80s and a for­ma­tive comic for young women. The friends at the centre of the story are the girl gang of fan­tasy, from spiky, chain-smok­ing leader Mac to hockey queen KJ. There’s more than a hint of E.T. in the way the girls cy­cle around their neigh­bour­hood de­liv­er­ing news­pa­pers and try­ing to es­cape mur­der­ous hu­manoids, but it’s so en­joy­able it never feels de­riv­a­tive.

Pa­per Girls is a trea­sure for any­one who grew up in this decade, in­cor­po­rat­ing its fash­ion, film and pop cul­ture into the story, and all with an evoca­tive laven­der-and-pink pal­ette. It works on many lev­els: as an ex­plo­ration of girl­hood and the pu­rity of child­hood friend­ships, and as a cel­e­bra­tion of the best ’ 80s sci- fi films. Dreamy and kick­ass, it brings you back to grow­ing up in sub­ur­bia and fill­ing ev­ery street cor­ner with crea­tures from your imag­i­na­tion.

There’s some­thing about kids on bikes that per­fectly evokes the 1980s.

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