Mini Reviews: Paper Girls, Vol 1 & The Complete Alice in Wonderland (Graphic Novel)

Because I can’t read anything for half the month and then suddenly I’m awake at 5am and my insomnia refuses to give in so why not read a graphic novel and 1 volume of a comic?

If you’ve read or are planning to read any of these I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Paper Girls, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan

Title: Paper Girls, Vol 1
Author: Brian K. Vaughan
Illustrators:
Cliff Chiang & Matthew Wilson 
Publisher: Image Comics
Published: April 5 2016
Pages: 144
Buy: Amazon // Image Comics // Book Depository // Comixology
Follow Brian K. Vaughan on Twitter

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 smash-hit series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood.

Collects Paper Girls #1-5.

I received a free copy of this comic from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve been wanting to read Paper Girls ever since the first singular issue was released, however I just never got around to it. When I saw the volume was available on Netgalley I was so tempted to pick it up, but I resisted. I’d heard a lot of hype about the series though so I finally caved.

My initial thought when I finished this: “What the heck did I just read!?”. I honestly don’t even know how to begin reviewing this? It was so weird. I really wish a half star system existed on Goodreads because this would have definitely received 3.5 stars from me. I rounded up because the art is STUNNING. I can’t even describe how much I love the art in this comic. IT IS SO BEAUTIFUL AND COLOURFUL AND PERFECT.

Paper Girls, Vol 1
It’s highly appropriate that Erin is saying “Oh my God” in this panel because that’s exactly how I felt the entire time when I saw this art. IT’S GORGEOUS.

I’m trying to think of a way to summarise this comic in a way that’ll make sense and not spoil anyone, but I’m struggling. All I can say is that it centers around four pre-teen girls who deliver paper in 1988. The girls are all supposed to be 12, but they felt WAY older. I had to keep reminding myself how young they were because they all acted as though they were 16. It’s Halloween night and some crazy shit goes down. I was always under the impression that this comic was going to be a contemporary, coming of age story? I thought at the most maybe the girls all witnessed a murder or something. UM, BOY WAS I WRONG. This is like every 80’s sci-fi trope mixed together (time travel, aliens ect.) and I thought that would be something I loved, but it just felt like too much at times? I’m totally aware that this is only Volume 1 and comics are the worst at explaining things, but I feel like we got no real answers?

I also feel like I need to say that there are a couple of homophobic slurs in this. They happen in the first issue and they’re on page 18-19. You can skip that page if you’d like and will still be able to follow the story. I realise that this is set in the 80s and it would have been acceptable (although in no way right) to use those words back then, but I felt like it was just so unnecessary? The girl, Mac, who said the slurs is your typical Edgy Street Wise Smart Mouth kid and she did the say the slurs at some boys who were being assholes to Erin (our MC), but I felt like LITERALLY ANYTHING ELSE could have been said in it’s place. I know this might deter a lot of people from picking the issue up and I completely understand that, but I feel like I needed to give a warning. Erin does call Mac out on her behaviour though which was really nice to see.

One of my biggest problems with this volume was that I was expecting it to focus on these girls and their friendship. I was so excited to see a comic centered around a group of girls but this focused way more on all the weird sci-fi things. There were a few good moments between the four of them, but not as much as I’d like. I’m hoping it gets explored more in the next volume!

I thought this would be a good comic for beginners, but now I’m not so sure because it’s just so strange. If you like that though then I definitely recommend checking it out! The ending was definitely super intriguing and I will be picking up the next issue! I’m hoping we’ll get some answers about what is actually going on. Plus I need more of this gorgeous art in my life.

MY RATING: ★★★★

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Title: The Complete Alice in WonderlandThe Complete Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Leah Moore & John Reppion
Authors: 
Lewis Carroll, Leah Moore & John Reppion 
Illustrator:
Erica Awano
Published: April 19th 2016
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Pages: 186
Buy: Amazon / DynamiteBook Depository / Comixology
Follow Leah Moore on Twitter // Follow John Reppion on Twitter

Available for the first time in softcover! Join Alice on her whimsical journey down the rabbit hole. For the first time ever, Lewis Carroll’s beloved masterpiece is faithfully adapted and illustrated in its entirety, including the long-lost chapter, “The Wasp in a Wig!” From her initial meeting with the White Rabbit in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, to her final dinner party with the entire (and outrageous) Through the Looking Glass cast, every moment of Alice’s adventures in that astonishing landscape is captured in gorgeous detail. With old favorites like the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter joined now by a long-forgotten Carroll creation, The Wasp, in one of the book’s latter chapters, children and adults alike can rediscover the complete Alice tale and fall in love with Wonderland all over again!

I received a free copy of this Graphic Novel via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is just going to be a mini-mini review, because I’m pretty sure everyone is aware of the Alice in Wonderland story. You know how much I love Alice so as soon as I saw this on Netgalley I freaked out because Alice + Graphic Novel = HELL YES. I know the story off by heart so I was so excited to see the art because Wonderland is such an incredible place. I was really let down by it though.

I hate saying I don’t like the art in graphic novels and comics because I am not an Artist and can barely draw a stick person. I couldn’t connect to this art at all though and I feel like the art is what would have REALLY made this. I thought it was going to be bright and colourful and similar to the Disney movie, but it was just… dull? I’m glad it wasn’t a carbon copy to the Alice art that exists, but I don’t think this style does the world and characters Lewis Carrol created justice. There were a few panels that I liked, but otherwise it just wasn’t for me. I did really love the Mad Hatter / Tea Party art though. It was probably my favourite.

The Complete Alice in Wonderland
Not a fan of the left page, but I enjoyed the right page. Unfortunately, there were more pages I didn’t like than ones I did. Images via Dynamite Entertainment

Although this again would have been a 3.5 rating I decided to round it up to a 4 because… it’s Alice in Wonderland. I have no complaints whatsoever about the writing. It’s literally the entire book. Everything is included and none of the story suffered whatsoever. I feel like that can be a problem with other book to graphic novels adaptions, but this one did it PERFECTLY. I just wish the art style was one I liked because then this would have been like a 10/5. If you love Alice as much as I do, though, and like the art then this is a must!

MY RATING: ★★★★

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18 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: Paper Girls, Vol 1 & The Complete Alice in Wonderland (Graphic Novel)

  1. im in the middle of paper girls and it’s so weird. having read saga, though, i do feel vaughan’s voice and style in it (which, admittedly, airs on the crazy, out there side), but yeah. it’s…interesting, to say the least. i tried alice in wonderland, but the art just didn’t capture me either. there was no sense of wonder to it due to the fact that the colors were so muted and the drawings were so…plain? so i couldn’t get past the first few pages.

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    1. Ooh I really need to get to Saga. I read the first issue and although it was quite strange I did enjoy it.

      Yeah, I completely agree about the Alice art. I think the only reason I got through to the end was because of how familiar I am with the story so I just kinda skimmed through it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so confused about Paper Girls. Do I wanna read it? I have no idea!
    I actually kind of hate Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, but I like the art in the comic. So I guess we’re on opposite ends there. 😀

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    1. I’m also confused about Paper Girls 😂 I think it’s one of those things you need to experience yourself. It was good, just like really, really bizarre. I think if I knew it was sci-fi I would have been more prepared, but I had convinced myself into thinking it was a contemporary.

      Haha, aw, that’s cool! It’s always interesting to see other perspectives 😀

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      1. Well the art is certainly pretty! Maybe if I ever feel like reading a weird sci-fi comic I’ll give it a go.
        Really? I’m always scared I’m gonna offend someone if I say I hate their favourite book. 😀

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  3. Ah the art in paper girls is so beautiful! And the Alice one looks vintage, which I like, but since I’m not a fan of the wonderland I probably won’t pick it up. Have you read ElfQuest? It was the first graphic novel/comic I’ve ever read and I loved it!

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