Spencer: There’s still much we don’t know about the world of Paper Girls, and despite Clone-Erin’s assurances on the first page, issue 9 doesn’t even begin to answer all our questions; what it does, though, is further dig into the “kids vs. adults” conflict apparently brewing in Clone-Erin’s future. How Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, and Matthew Wilson do so is fascinating; instead of going into a detailed flashback or history of the conflict, they simply recreate it amongst their own cast. Continue reading
Today, Ryan D. and Michael are discussing Paper Girls 3, originally released December 2nd, 2015.
“Don’t trust anybody over 30.”
Ryan D: The Free Speech Movement, originally born out of the turmoil roiling in the belly of an America committed to both the Vietnam War and the tumultuous Civil Rights Movement, gave youths protesting a mantra regarding who is trustworthy and who is not. The original quote, spoken first in 1964 when an interviewer accused Weinberg and the Movement of being backed by Communists or some other nefarious group, asserts that people over a certain age always have an agenda. Though Paper Girls takes place twenty years after the FSM, this most recent issue’s reveal proves that the saying holds true, even in the far future, or alternate universes, or wherever it is that is invading the Earth in this ripping read. Continue reading
Today, Drew and Ryan M. are discussing Paper Girls 2, originally released November 4th, 2015.
Drew: How early in a narrative can you usually predict the ending? Usually, when we describe a narrative as “predictable” we mean that derisively, but most stories have prescribed endings — oftentimes, the genre of the story is enough to hint at the ending: how does a romantic comedy end? How about a murder mystery? What about a sports movie? There are obviously countless examples that subvert those expectations, but those play by the same rules — the ending can be flipped, sure, but the potential endings are still reduced down to a small handful of options. Unless, of course, that story “defies genre,” evading any of the pigeonholes that would dictate its ending (or at least evading them long enough for you to get sucked in). That’s exactly the case with Paper Girls 2, where the deepening mystery thwarts any expectations about what might happen next. Continue reading
We all see what we want to see. Coffey looks and he sees Russians. He sees hate and fear. You have to look with better eyes than that.
Lindsey Brigman, The Abyss (1989)
Patrick: When The Abyss came out in 1989, the Cold War was still very much a part of the American Zeitgeist. So much so, that a James Cameron movie about underwater aliens necessarily had to address political tensions between the US and the Soviets and the fear of nuclear annihilation. Those themes are more clearly expressed in the lumpier director’s cut of the film, but even the theatrical release is colored with assumptions and anxieties specific to that period in time. I love The Abyss, but I probably didn’t see it until I was 11 or 12 (1994 sounds right), which means I was able to take it in from the other side of the Berlin Wall, and none of those relics of Cold War paranoia rang true to my personal experience. But rather than being alienating, those details tap into an existing international psychology, and create a world that is instantly recognizable as real, honest, and not so far outside the world we know. Paper Girls pulls a similar trick, filling the pages with 1988 details that don’t so much tell a story as set the scene for a story. Continue reading