Making ‘Paper Girls’ ‘Wikipedia-proof’ meant change. Here are the creators’ favorites

This story contains spoilers for “Paper Girls” on Prime Video.

“Paper Girls” features opposing futuristic factions in time travel, covert time warfare, mysterious technology, and even giant robot battles, but at its core it’s a coming-of-age story about four 12-year-old girls. Is.

Brian K. Based on the Eisner Award-winning comic book series by Vaughn and Cliff Chiang, the Prime Video series, which debuted on Friday, follows four paper girls who find themselves thrown into the future when they encounter some mysterious teenagers. when they distribute newspapers. On the morning after Halloween in 1988.

As Erin Tieng (Riley Lai Nellette), Mac Coyle (Sofia Rosinski), Tiffany Quilkin (Camerine Jones) and KJ Brandman (Fina Straza) try to figure out what’s happened to them, they eventually come to terms with the running time. Learn about the war and meet future versions of themselves in the process.

“One of the great things about being a 12-year-old hero is that at 12, you’re really feeling things so intensely, and you’re starting to ask yourself, Who do I want to be? ” Chiang said in a recent video call. “It’s a question that follows you all your life, even when you’re our age. People are constantly figuring it out. I guess at 12 you don’t realize it’s a journey ”

Vaughan and Chiang, who served as executive producers on the adaptation, explained that they shared details of the extensive backstory, as well as art and visual inspirations, early in the adaptation process, but encouraged the team to make changes to build the story of the show. did. My. And as touching as they respect the original comic book series, they praise everyone from the cast to the writers and production staff for giving credit and bringing their version of the story to life on screen. (The series was developed for television by Stephanie Folsom, and its showrunners include Christopher C. Rogers and Christopher Cantwell.)

For Vaughn, the key elements he wanted to keep the show from the comic book series were “the four girls and their relationships and who they are” as well as the antinostalgia for the era.

“We didn’t want to do something that was about looking back in the ’80s with rose-tinted glasses,” Vaughan said. The book “takes a hard look at this difficult place we’ve come to. … I love that the show never shied away from it. It can be difficult, especially in a show with young characters, to address homophobia.” To show, to show anti-Semitism, to show the bigotry of the time, but it would have seemed fake just to shine on it.”

Fans of the comic book series will notice a number of changes made by the show to the source material – including the introduction of original characters and events – beyond the grasp of a familiar fruit-shaped logo on futuristic technology. But both comics creators agree that “what [the show] preserved is the emotional road map of the story,” and they welcomed “an extension of the original idea” as long as itmained true to the heart of their story.

Part of the goal, Vaughan explained, was for the show to be “Wikipedia-proof,” so people won’t be able to see what happens next.

“Our showrunner Chris Rogers says something that I love,” Vaughan said. “He says he didn’t want to do a karaoke version of our book, which is just beat… and I appreciate that. As a viewer of the show, I’d be surprised even as I write this. ”

Vaughn and Chiang break down some of their favorite surprises from the show below.

One of the original characters from the TV series is Larry Radakowski, a member of the STF underground, which the girls first encounter in 2019. Larry is a current ally to teenagers from the distant future, who believe there should be no rules for this. time travel. They want the freedom to change history, and Larry believes in their cause. He aids the STF’s time-warfare effort by guarding a secret weapon hidden in their farm and keeping a record of cracks in time that can be used for time travel. (His closest comic-book counterpart is probably a newspaper cartoonist named Charlotte Spachefsky.)

“Larry is extraordinary, hilarious and unpredictable,” Vaughan said. “He’s the kind of character where Cliff and I looked at each other and were like, ‘I wish we had someone like him in the book.’ He gives such a new dimension to playing girls. He’s unbelievable.”

spending time with mac’s brother

In the comics, Mack learns that his future self is dead when he must move into his family’s home and encounter a stranger. But in the series, Mac learns that his older brother, Dylan, has become a doctor in the future and seeks him out and spends some quality time with him.

“Mac’s brother is something really special,” Vaughan said. “We only hinted at him as the kind of mean, jerky big brother, which he is when we were first introduced to him on the show. But what a clever idea to see how he has changed and [ [How] what happened to her sister… has grown her. It felt so organic to what we were trying to pull off in the comics.”

Catalyst for KJ’s Self-Discovery

Because the series doesn’t exactly follow the time-travel travel schedule set out in the comics, KJ learns about his future in an entirely different way. In the comics, KJ gets a glimpse of future events when he comes into contact with a mysterious creature from the fourth dimension. She catches a vision of herself kissing another girl, and she quickly makes sense of it. But in the series, KJ meets and talks with the girlfriend of his future self.

“One of my favorite scenes [in the show] is when KJ walks into the movie theater,” Chiang said. “It’s such a beautiful, poetic scene where he’s able to talk to his older girlfriend about art and love. It’s such a cool scene because it really encapsulates all the exploration you’ve done at that age, 12 years of age, and discovering things about yourself and what you want to be.”

That Prioress twist

The core Paper Girls quartet aren’t the only ones whose stories and arcs have been expanded upon for TV series. In the comics, Prieus is one of the “Old-Timers” (known on the series as the Old Guard) who believes that history and time should not be tampered with. Priores (Adina Porter) and her allies are from the future, but not too far in the future as teenagers from the STF who don’t believe in the restrictions of time travel. His work includes trying to maintain the sanctity of the timeline, including the occasional giant mecha robot battle in the comics. In the series, Priess does a lot of gumshoe investigation.

Vaughan said, “Priores was originally going to be a minor character in the comic, but as soon as I saw Cliff’s design, I was like, ‘Oh, no, this is incredible, and she’s going to be very important to the story. It is,” said Vaughan. , “I think that’s how the character developed on the show, where she realized she was not a hardcore-villain chasing these young women. She has a complicated emotional arc of her own.”

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