24 IN 2017 #4: PAPER GIRLS 2 BY BRIAN K. VAUGHAN

Disclaimer: I know that strictly speaking, a graphic novel is not a book and probably shouldn't be included on this list. However, in my opinion, for the amount of work that clearly goes into the artwork and storylines of graphic novels, it'd be rude not to include this one on the list of things I've read in 2017!

A couple of months ago, on a whim, I decided to pick up a copy of Paper Girls from Forbidden Planet in London. I'd seen a bit of buzz about this comic online from other bloggers and it's vibrant cover art had drawn me in. I didn't know what the comic was about, all I knew was it had been compared to Stranger Things but with more feminism. Everything about this description intrigued me, so I grabbed a copy and started reading it on my train out of the city.

By the time I'd reached my stop at the end of the Met line, I'd finished the entire comic. I'd read graphic novels before, but none which really pulled me in and grabbed my attention like Paper Girls did. It was funny and emotional with a deeply thought out storyline and twists and turns which left my mouth hanging open with every turn of the page. It was really that good. So of course, as soon as Volume 2 of Paper Girls came out, I had to go and get my hands on it.

Paper Girls tells the story of four girls who are on their morning paper round around their quiet town, when things start to go a little weird. I'm very conscious not to spoil anything about this for you, because the twists in the storyline of this comic is what made it so interesting and exciting for me. All I'll say on this note is that it is a story of friendship against all odds packed references to all of the classic science fiction you know and love. I'll say no more, because I really want everyone to experience the jaw drop as you turn each page which I did.

The artwork which fills the pages of Paper Girls is absolutely stunning. I loved the way that it uses colour to depict the mood on each page. One scene will be dull and grey, the characters outlined in blue to highlight the melancholy. Then the next page will be vibrant and loud, filled with primary, block colours. Each turn of the page offers something new and this is exactly why the comic doesn't get boring.

One of my favourite things about Paper Girls was the way that it uses it's setting of the past to reflect on the future. The comic is set in the 1980's, but this doesn't stop the four main girls from speculating about their own futures. There are talks of whether we'll ever see a female president in power (heck, we'll probably have had four of those by 2000, right?) and whether technology can ever get better than the peak it's hit in the late eighties. Paper Girls seems to become accidentally (completely on purpose) political. It uses it's decade to innocently comment on our way of life now, without drawing too much attention to the fact that it's doing so.

Another aspect of Paper Girls which I loved was the characterisation of the four main girls. The beauty of graphic novels is that it makes it so much easier to feel connected to characters in print. The girls each have their own distinct looks and facial expressions which make them instantly feel more real. They're also incredibly empathetic and understanding for their ages. The way that Vaughan portrays their friendship and allows them to lift each other up and help each other throughout the story was something really special to me. The entire story feels inclusive and unarguably feminist. Not to mention how special it is that four young girls are portrayed as the solo heroins of a sci-fi story. How many other pieces of pop culture can argue that they've done that?

I adored both Paper Girls Volume 1 and 2 (it feels impossible to even try separating them for the purpose of review!) If you're an avid graphic novel fan, this is a story I'd definitely recommend and if you've never read a graphic novel before, Paper Girls is a great place to start. It's a story which will leave you with everything you need: adventure, friendship, emotion, colour, wackiness and humour.

5 comments :

  1. I've heard so many good things about this series, I really need to give it a go. Problem is I keep starting so many awesome series that it's gonna cost a fortune to keep them all going!

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    1. Definitely give it a go! Haha, I have the same problem with books. I need to give some more graphic novels a go. I'm thinking of starting Saga next!x

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  2. OOh I'd not heard of this, going to have to buy it now. Thanks!x

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    1. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!x

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  3. Finding books through review posts like these almost always push me to click that "add to cart" button. These two books will DEFINITELY be on my birthday wish list, so thank you for that! xx

    Kyia at WANDERLUSTGIRL// Lifestyle & Beauty
    Let’s be BLOGLOVIN friends!

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