Paper Girls Volume 1: A Commentary on Technology
I enjoyed reading Paper Girls Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan, Jared K. Fletcher, Matthew Wilson, and Cliff Chiang. As someone born in the early 1980s, I could appreciate and relate to the political and technological references of the time period: walkie talkies, the Challenger, Ronald Reagan, and the 1988 Bush/Dukakis election. However, as a writer and as a pop culture fan, I also saw commentary regarding technology that was both intriguing and disturbing.
Early in the comic, one of the paper girls says her dad believes newspapers to be a dying art. Her prediction has proven to be quite accurate, as I personally do not even receive a newspaper at my house and obtain my news online and through television and NPR podcasts. When I started college at the tail end of the 1990s, I considered majoring in newspapers, magazines, or another form of print journalism. I changed my mind in part because I was afraid I would not find a job in one of these forms of media.
One of the central characters of the story is named Mac, predicting the emergence of computers as a primary source of technology soon after 1988. Throughout the story, an image of the Apple Icon appears, on both an “Apple records” t-shirt and in an item that one of the paranormal alien creatures drops. Since the creatures are battling with the humans, their presence, brought upon the technological advance of spaceships, does not appear to be positive. Also, there is an earlier reference in the comic to the apple being from the tree of knowledge. Apple technology also brings us knowledge, but may we be harmed from taking too many bites?
The comic seems to be foreshadowing the takeover of technology. But is this a positive thing? At the beginning of the comic, the central character Erin awakens from a dream in which she was talking to one of the Challenger explosion victims, a technological advance gone wrong. At the end, this plot comes back full circle. Erin time travels, stopping briefly in 1999, and ending up presumably in the present day, as someone in her late 30s/early 40s (she notes being 12 in 1988). In her pocket is an iPhone/ipod, and she’s wearing headphones, bringing the Apple images back full circle as well. Why has the time hop occurred so suddenly, and what will be the result?
Paper Girls has many elements that I and other comic fans tend to enjoy: suspense, presence of fantastic/paranormal characters, a diverse cast, strong female protagonists, pop culture references. Yet I believe it also has intriguing social commentary regarding the emergence of technology, as I now rarely see paper delivery boys and girls on their bikes. How will this shift in technology continue to affect writers and artists, such as myself? How will it affect society as a whole? I will be interested to read the second volume of Paper Girls to see how it grapples with these technology themes.https://www.myfantasysportstalk.com/paper-girls-volume-1-a-commentary-on-technology/https://i1.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/a-67.jpg?fit=953%2C540&ssl=1https://i1.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/a-67.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1ComicsEntertainmentRecent PostsPaper GirlsI enjoyed reading Paper Girls Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan, Jared K. Fletcher, Matthew Wilson, and Cliff Chiang. As someone born in the early 1980s, I could appreciate and relate to the political and technological references of the time period: walkie talkies, the Challenger, Ronald Reagan, and the...Margaret RobbinsMargaret Robbinsmarobbin@uga.eduContributorMyFantasySportsTalk