Paper Girls – An Apple A Day Keeps The Nightmares Away?

pg1Paper Girls begins with a dream. One that combines science and religion, female empowerment and slavery, the potential of great things and the threat of the bad that may drag them down.

Oh and the Challenger explosion played out on an astronaut helmet that resembled nothing as much as it does the Robots from Saga. It's a delightful visual nod to Bryan K Vaughan's other series from Cliff Chiang, to begin the new work.

The past is a foreign country, they do things differently over there. Like encouraging eleven year old girls to get up at 4 in the morning and deliver newspapers around their local estate on bicycles with little thought for their safety.

pg2 I mean I'm one of those semi-free range parents who encourages their kids to go out and explore (with their mobile phones of course) and I balk at the responsibility and freedom being handed out willy nilly to such youngsters only a few decades ago. What the hell were we all thinking?

Because this comic does show the dangers. Very real dangers from young, stupid, angry boys and men – and then rather fantastic ones. But in both cases, there is a solution.

Because this comic is not called Paper Girl but Paper Girls. And it's the banding together, working together, seeking common purpose and backing each other up that sees them deal with whatever problems present themselves.

pg3We get broad brushstrokes of character to define them, with nuance to fill in the detail. Some are stroppy, some are kind, some are determined, some are basically violent, but between them they create a team, welcoming to newcomers (ish) but then forming a circle against threat. Not unlike a number of recent internet commentariat explosions. The comic takes those exact arguments and makes them flesh, while recognising that this kind of situation goes back to the days of cavewomen.

pg4Because the past is indeed a foreign country. And in Paper Girl, they've got tourists…


Comics courtesy of Orbital Comics, London. Where, in conjunction with the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, Orbital is pleased to present French artist Boulet in a special live-draw event with whiskey tasting on October 19th. Book now…



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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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