It happened again.
I walked into my LCS this week and headed for my locker (where my weekly pulls go) and along the way I pass the table with the new releases, and there it was. A sultry yellow cover, standing out like a Stormtrooper in a sea of Ewok, imploring “look at me!” Who am I to ignore the plea of a new comic craving my attention? After all, I am a sucker for a yellow cover (don’t ask me why, I don’t know). Based on the title alone it’s not something I would have normally looked at, but I picked it up to find out more.
Yellow cover that totally caught my attention. Check. Edgy art. Check. BRIAN K. VAUGHAN?! SOLD.
It instantly made it’s way to the top of the pile for my weekly purchases. Before Saga I wasn’t too familiar with Vaughan’s work, but Saga made me a fan and Private Eye left me starved for more of his writing. So, like I said, “it happened again.” I was lured to a book by nothing more than a “cool” cover (great marketing strategy, right?) and purchased it based on nothing more than the author.
Our story opens up with some really weird happenings, only to find two pages later that we’re in a dream of the main character Erin. So it turns out that it’s 1988, in Cleveland, which is awesome for two reasons. Number one, Mr. Vaughan is graciously paying homage to the city he grew up in. Number two, I also happen to hail from Cleveland, so this really strikes a chord for me. Erin is a 12 year old paper girl trying to make her bones in the neighborhood, following in the footsteps of the infamous Mac (MacKenzie), who was the first paper boy that “wasn’t a… you know” referring to the fact that Mac wasn’t a paper “boy.” Erin’s shift this evening just happens to be in the wee hours of the morning on November 1st, the morning after Halloween. On her route she gets harassed by some older, after hours trick-or-treat boys that happened to still be out causing chaos in the neighborhood when she is saved by Mac and her crew of two other girls. The boys make threats but a few well timed, quick verbal jabs by Mac sends them on their way. Mac is a tough talking, cigarette smoking, against the grain teenager that doesn’t take s*** from anyone and in her first meeting with Erin you can instantly see the admiration in Erin’s eyes and how much she wants to be like Mac. The girls decide to split up to cover the route more quickly, Mac chose the “new kid” [Erin] to ride with her. I don’t want to give much more away but I will say that in this first double sized issue there is a run-in with the cops, a large piece of modern art (it’s not really art), oddly dressed characters that speak “Spanish or something” (it’s not really Spanish) and Apple, the product, not the fruit.
Paper girls #1 delivered a great, unique script, which is exactly what I expected from Vaughan. It opened with intrigue and kept my interest with attitude and more curiosity. Wonder Woman artist Cliff Chiang does an excellent job as well. His pencils look great and fit the story very well. He captures expression better than most artists and he focuses on background detail to really give you a full picture in almost every panel. Matt Wilson did the colors and while I’m not very familiar with his work I must say that he compliments Chiang’s pencils beautifully.
Parental Concerns: violence, language
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