The story has always been, “a group of boys one summer stumble onto an adventure…” but Paper Girls switches up that formula for a different kind of story.
From the ’80s heyday of The Goonies to modern-day homages like Stranger Things, young male coming-of-age stories sprinkled with sci-fi elements have proliferated across pop culture.
But when writer Brian K. Vaughan (Saga) and artist Cliff Chiang (Catwoman: Lonely City) launched their Paper Girls comic series in 2015 alongside colorist Matt Wilson and designer Jared K. Fletcher, they decided to change the formula. Paper Girls’ protagonists are young women, originally from the ’80s but soon thrown into a breathless time-travel adventure.
“Growing up in the suburbs of Cleveland, there was one year when I was around 12, where all of the paper boys in our neighborhood were suddenly replaced by paper girls,” Vaughan recalls. “I just thought it was so badass that these 12-year-old children were going out at 4 a.m. to deliver bad news to adults. It was just so interesting and captivating that they were newspaper delivery kids, sort of a dying breed, and yet they were the first of their kind. I thought, ‘this is such an interesting group of young women. They would make a great heart of a story.’ So it started with that inspiration and expanded from there.”
That idea expanded into 30 issues of the Paper Girls comic, and now there is a Paper Girls TV adaptation on the way this July from Amazon Prime Video.
When it comes to the diverse group of girls at the center of the story, Paper Girls stars Sofia Rosinsky as Mac Coyle, Camryn Jones as Tiffany Quilkin, Riley Lai Nelet as Erin Tieng, and Fina Strazza as K.J. Brandman — as well as Ali Wong as the adult version of Erin. After all, this is a time travel story!
Amazon continues to breakdown the idea of comic adaptations by spotlighting new and groundbreaking ways to present their stories. Often controversial, sometimes heartwarming, but always interesting. I can’t wait to see this show!