The graphic novel Paper Girls will be adapted for television by Amazon. Written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Cliff Chiang, the comic book series debuted in October 2015 and has since released 29 issues. Vaughan is the mind behind others series such as Runaways, Y: The Last Man, Saga, Pride of Baghdad, and Ex Machina.
Published by Image Comics and set in 1988, Paper Girls follows the experience of four Ohio teenagers named Erin, MacKenzie, Karina, and Tiffany. While delivering newspapers, they’re immersed into a supernatural conflict involving different groups of time travelers. Suddenly, the Paper Girls finds themselves confronted with their future selves, all the while becoming part of “The Battle of the Ages” against “Old-Timers.” Character-wise, Erin is the archetypal New Girl, and MacKenzie is the Tomboy. Meanwhile, Karina aka KJ is the Smart Girl, and Tiffany is The Gamer. Of course, the narrative complexities reveal far more about the characters’ personalities and how they view the world, along with the past and future. In the comic book series, Matt Wilson serves as the colorist and won an Eisner Award for his work. Overall, the Paper Girls franchise is divided into five-issue arcs.
Per Deadline, Amazon has emerged victorious in a bid for the Paper Girls adaptation. Stephany Folsom, who worked on Toy Story 4 and Thor: Ragnarok, will write the television series and will also co-produce with Vaughan and Plan B. In recent years, Folsom has written for Star Wars Resistance, and she’s also the scribe behind the upcoming biographical drama This Is Jane. In addition, Folsom is a consulting producer for Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings series. As noted by Deadline, Paper Girls marks Vaughan’s first project with Legendary Entertainment, this coming after he reached a multi-year production deal.
From 2007 to 2009, Vaughan wrote seven episodes of the iconic ABC series Lost. He subsequently served as the showrunner and executive producer for CBS' Under the Dome, based on Stephen King’s 2009 science fiction novel of the same name. In 2017, Vaughan won Eisner Awards for Best Series (Paper Girls, Saga, We Stand on Guard) and Best Continuing Series (Saga with Fiona Staples). In 2018, Vaughan received Hugo Award nominations for Best Graphic Story (Saga, Paper Girls).
While many people are capitalizing on ‘80s nostalgia, it’s clear that moviegoers and streamers are fascinated with the concept, evidenced by the massive success of Stranger Things and other projects. But Vaughan’s success comes from his storytelling abilities, and how he constructs extensive characters. For Amazon’s Paper Things, the aforementioned Folsom will undoubtedly construct a fascinating adaption, but we’ll have to see who gets cast in the main roles, and whether the performers can truly bring the story to life for franchise fans.