Paper Girls Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang
Welcome to scenic Stony Stream, Ohio! Okay fine, it’s just suburban Cleveland. In 1988.
In this episode, co-hosts Mike and Alex kick off the first season of Storied Arcs by breaking down Paper Girls Volume 1 (issues 1-5). They discuss the storytelling choices made by the creative team that are specific to sequential art, the use (or potential overuse) of nostalgia when dealing with the period settings, and Alex gives his three immutable theories for time travel in fiction (as opposed to, you know, time travel in real life).
As will be the case in the future, this episode assumes you’ve read through issue 5 aka first trade collection but won’t spoil anything beyond that.
One important note is that the alien language has been decrypted and the key is offered in the back of deluxe edition volume 3. Before that was offered, fans were able to decrypt it on their own.
Most of the actual dialogue can be intuited from the art and context. However, the most provocative statements are in the prologues to issues 2-5 and are written in the alien script. Here is the breakdown of those:
Issue 01 – None
Issue 02 – NOSTALGIA IS DEATH
Issue 03 – DEATH IS FOREVER
Issue 04 – FOREVER IS NOW
Issue 05 – NOW IS GONE