Brian K. Vaughan: Paper Girls 1, 98

It’s November 1, 1988, the early morning after Halloween in the suburb of Stony Stream, Cleveland, Ohio. Twelve-year-old Erin pedals her Bonanza bike in the pale blue dawn. The sleeves of the denim jacket are rolled up, the neck-length perms are flying in the wind, the shoulder bag has rolled-up copies of the newspaper “Cleveland Preserver”.

The complex comic sci-fi adventure about techno zombies, flying monsters, time travel and encounters with the future self, which was published as a 30-part series between 2015 and 2019, has now been filmed. The series starts on Amazon Prime Video on July 29th.

Great opportunity to pick the comic volumes back off the shelf (or grab the Complete Edition, out August 10th from Cross Cult), delve into the superhero-esque drawings and surreal colors with an 80’s flair, and the Paper Girls in the ‘Hells -Tomorrow” that Erin’s paper calendar announces.

In fact, she, who has just moved here, is being targeted by the area’s ne’er-do-wells, who still roam the streets in horror costumes. It’s a good thing that the seasoned Paper Girls Mac, Tiffany and KJ are on hand to add them to their team.

The four of them cycle together through an apocalyptic morning: Leaves whirl across the asphalt, a crooked scarecrow beckons in the background in a front yard, a pale crescent moon hangs in the sky, and something traces a pink trail across the dark blue sky.

The plot of “Paper Girls” is initially set in the eighties, the decade in which the artists behind the comic were still teenagers. A certain nostalgia can be seen in the loving design of the decor, from the clothes to the furnishings to the girls’ walkie-talkies.

Moreover, Cliff Chiang’s drawings and especially Matt Wilson’s colors imply that there is something unreal about what is happening from the start, even before the first symbolic figures and giant pterodactyls appear.

They’re part of a mysterious cataclysm that’s hitting Stony Stream. From now on, the four newspaper girls have a mission: to find out what it’s all about and what to do about it. They travel thousands of years back and far into the future in a time capsule, they are confronted with their future destinies and have to find out that the invention of time travel offers temptations, but also great dangers.

In the end, the four end up back where it all began – but now it’s completely different because each of them has gone through a development.