Paper Girls, Vol. 1

Paper Girls (2015)


In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries collide in this smashhit series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood.

From: Image Comics

Notes on This Title

Paper Girls depicts 12-year-old girls discovering their queerness over the course of the series. It also includes queer male supporting characters.

This series depicts use of homophobic and anti-semitic slurs, guns, and cigarettes by tween characters, as well as alcoholism, suicide ideation, and references to sexual assault. One of the main characters repeatedly expresses discomfort regarding another’s sexual orientation.


2016 Broken Frontier Award Nominee for Best Ongoing Series
2016 Eisner Award Winner for Best New Series
2017 Eisner Award Nominee for Best Continuing Series
2017 Hugo Award Nominee for Best Graphic Story (Volume 1)
2018 Hugo Award Nominee for Best Graphic Story (Volume 3)
2019 Hugo Award Nominee for Best Graphic Story (Volume 4)
2020 Hugo Award Nominee for Best Graphic Story or Comic (Volume 6)
2016 VLA Graphic Novel Diversity Award Honor


“Four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the biggest story of all time. Be prepared to be knocked off your readerly feet when you begin this series, as you’re thrown right into the complicated thick of things. This includes time travel and all the confusion multiple timelines and past selves and present selves create. But the mystery, the promise of queer representation, and Chiang’s beautiful 80s-washed art should keep you reading to find out more.” (Source: Autostraddle)

“It is the four girls who really make this series soar. They are young but also determined, stubborn, brave, and loyal. Chiang’s art avoids making them look too mature while also bringing to vivid life the dangers and wonders surrounding the girls. Language and violence are undoubtedly present, though neither are overdone. Fans of the Netflix show Stranger Things are the perfect audience for this science-fiction adventure.” (Source: Booklist, vol 113, number 9, p57)

“Cliff Chiang’s art is, as usual for him, sublime, but special attention has to be paid to Matt Wilson’s remarkable color work on the series—Paper Girls thrives in cool colours that layers in vivid shocks of purple or or yellow that screams the ‘80s style of the book’s setting while never overbearing the general tone of the comic. It’s a book that matches its great storytelling with an equally bold visual style.” (Source: io9)

“Nostalgia is meant to make you sad and wistful for a place and time gone by, and that mission is accomplished (particularly in the first issue of the story). … [T]hankfully Paper Girls is not just a pastiche or homage. If this was just some sort of trip down memory lane that would be nice, but it wouldn’t sustain a book. I’m happy to say that after 3 issues this book gets intense pretty quickly, and while the late 1980’s is the setting, this story isn’t about the late 1980’s. It’s about 4 girls getting in way over their heads and dealing with what comes their way, with as much smarts and resourcefulness as they can muster as everything around them goes to hell.” (Source: Panel Patter)

“Like some great 1980s teen sci-fi/horror cult classic, this aggressively awesome new series from Vaughan (Saga) and Chiang (Wonder Woman) throws alien invasion and time travel plots together and steeps the whole thing in suburban angst and attitude. … Vaughan’s spiky writing and Chiang’s vivid, dramatically skewed art make for a potent mix, particularly in the darkly comic dream sequences that punctuate the action. This is that rare period series that lets its references (Dukakis, MacGyver) slip seamlessly into the action.” (Source: Publishers Weekly, vol 263, issue 15, p)

“In the early hours of November 1st, 1988, four girls delivering newspapers team up to avoid harassment from local boys. But when the sky opens up to reveal beings from another world, the girls get caught up in a conflict they are only beginning to understand. Paper Girls deals with issues of classism, ageism, and homophobia straight on, while captivating the audience with a twist on a classic alien invasion story. Cliff Chiang’s expressive art takes the reader easily from drama to action with seamless transitions between scenes. Colorist Matt Wilson also deserves recognition for setting the mood with color alone.” (Source: Virginia Library Association)


Sktchd: “Off Panel #19: Getting Sassy with Cliff Chiang” (audio)

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