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.