Paper Girls Volume 3 – Brian K. Vaughan

Illustrations – Cliff Chiang

Colours – Matt Wilson

Spoilers Ahead!

A note about spoilers: Once again I don’t know how to talk about this Volume without recapping Volume 2 or telling you about this one. I’m hiding anything I consider a potentially significant spoiler but please proceed with caution if you haven’t read this series. I’m excited about what happens and need to tell someone.

When we last saw Tiffany, Mac and Erin, they had just been reunited with KJ, who was MIA throughout Volume 2. The trio had spent some time in 2016, where they met a future Erin who was all grown up and still working for the same newspaper. They also met future future Erin, or Erin III, as I called her. She had a red backpack, was from way into the future and, yep, she was a clone. The old-timers followed our trio to 2016, travelling in style, and we met some huge creepy crawlies.

So, our four Paper Girls have finally been reunited but they’re not in 2016 anymore and they haven’t returned to 1988 either. Here’s the biggest clue that they’re, um, in another time entirely. ➡️

In the middle of the night Mac is contemplating her last cigarette when she encounters Wari, a warrior girl with face paint and interesting taste in jewellery, and her baby, Jahpo, who is very huggable. Fortunately Erin swiped the translator from Erin III in 2016 so the girls can communicate with the people in this time.

But warrior girl isn’t even the most dangerous encounter of the night. There’s also Claws to deal with and I doubt I’m the only one thinking the whole poking its tongue out routine isn’t a cheeky gesture.

Okay, I have enough information now so I’m calling it. Our girls are in the past. Way, way back in time. We’ve also seen what appears to be a shooting star, but in this series we don’t wish on them because they’re usually not shooting stars at all. Usually it means our girls have company. Company comes in the form of Doctor Qanta Braunstein, Project Leader at AppleX.

Something tells me she’s not from this time, which apparently is 11,706 BCE (just a teensy bit further into the past than I thought). Doc thinks that maybe she invented time travel, so this entire thing could be her fault. Also it turns out she’s from 2055. Although the Doc is not the girls’ only company.

When I was almost positive there weren’t any more surprises left, Mac and KJ came across this.

This fourth dimensional object allows you to see the future when you touch it, which results in KJ seeing, amongst other things, this.

Woohoo! I can’t wait!

I love that a bag of newspapers have made their way across time with the girls. Apparently, in addition to containing comics, they also make a good pillow. I really enjoy the humour in this series. It appears that no matter what time you’re in or from, your software will always require an update at the most inconvenient time possible.

I wasn’t sure about this series originally but I’m so glad I kept reading. It’s really beginning to come together for me and I’m figuring out bits and pieces I wondered about previously, like the origin of the hockey stick with the warning carved into it. Erin sent that through one of the folding (floating time hole) thingamajigs while the girls were in 11,706 BCE. It’s always fun when you feel rewarded for sticking with a series.

Then right near the end of the Volume this happened

and now Tiffany is in an alternate 2000 where Y2K happened, and who knows where the rest of the Paper Girls are!

I loved the cliffhanger at the end of this Volume and am so glad I don’t have to wait to begin Volume 4.

Content warnings include a slur against Jewish people (this is challenged!) and mention of sexual assault.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

The multiple Eisner and Harvey Award-winning series from Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang continues, as newspaper deliverers Erin, Mac and Tiffany finally reunite with their long-lost friend KJ in an unexpected new era, where the girls must uncover the secret origins of time travel … or risk never returning home to 1988. 

Collects Paper Girls 11-15.

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