Synopsis: The girls of Stoney Stream try desperately to reunite their separated group while dodging dangerous creatures, running from an unknown totalitarian group, and navigating the familiar, yet strange, town they used to consider home. Once the girls are reunited, bonds will be reforged, alliances will shift, and major decisions will be made.
In Review: We find our time tossed protagonists trying to find their way back to each other. The younger and older Erin Tieng duo have discovered a possible warning not to trust each other. This seemingly pits both of these characters at odds, but when Tiff and Mac appear with a cloned Erin Tieng who is armed with futuristic tech, all bets are off. Doubt and dissension begin to fracture the group. Thus, the trust the younger girls have placed in the older Erin begins to falter.
The appearance of the third Erin Tieng turns this character into their own temporal trinity. Brian K Vaughan masterfully depicts the different stages of development in one character, and he streamlines this idea by showing the reader how each Erin interacts with each other and the rest of the group. All of this can be very confusing at times, but Vaughan grounds the reader by slipping in familiar places and modern pop culture references. This gives some sense of familiarity to this chaotic landscape. Seriously, everyone should reference New Coke and Classic Coke whenever they can.
Cliff Chiang continues to generate a wonderful sense of nostalgia, but when coupled with Matt Wilson’s colors, Paper Girls seems crisp, new and dynamic. Wilson does a fantastic job of making the atmosphere of future Stoney Stream seem otherworldly and foreboding. A great example of this tension is the splash page of issue #9. It is an arresting sight that gives us a big view as to what the girls are up against. Brian K Vaughan has employed this method before in Paper Girls and in his other series, Saga, with artist Fiona Staples. I always look forward to seeing the new outlandish images his books come up with next.
Paper Girls continues to confuse and delight readers. And while I still do not have a firm grasp as to what is happening or why, I look forward to the next installment.