13 May 2019

Review: Paper Girls 4 and Paper Girls 5 by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang

Comic trade paperback, 125 pages
Published 2018 (contents: 2017-18)
Acquired April 2018

Read December 2018
Paper Girls 4
Paper Girls 5

Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Cliff Chiang
Colors: Matt Wilson
Letters: Jared K. Fletcher

I'm getting the hang of how Paper Girls works now; each volume takes the girls to a different time period, and brings a different one of the girls to the fore. In the case of volume 4, it's to New Year's Eve 1999, and the girl in question is Tiffany, who discovers that her 1999 self is not quite the person she'd imagined she'd be. There are some good jokes about Y2K; in this story the apocalypse some imagined kinda does come to pass. I admire the way this story slowly unspools its answers and questions, and the way it integrates action into story (as opposed to feeling like, as in many other comics, the story pauses for the action), but this volume felt a little less complex than volume 3 in terms of character and theme.

Comic trade paperback, 125 pages
Published 2018 (contents: 2018)
Acquired and read December 2018
Volume 5 was an uptick. This takes the paper girls into one of the futures they've been fighting, an oppressive dystopian Cleveland. Y2K Tiffany is still with them, but this volume focuses on Mac and to a lesser extent KJ; while Tiffany and Tiffany and Erin seek answers, Mac must contend with her own fatality and her homophobic feelings toward KJ. It's good stuff, though I do find it difficult to remember the characters and details outside of the paper girls themselves. (Probably I would benefit from reading this one in the big hardcover volumes, like I do Saga, but I started collecting in trade paperback, so it's too late now.) It's a little bit touching at times, and the cliffhanger shows that the formula I'd figured out will actually not apply in volume 6. Bring it on!

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