The new Prime Video sci-fi series Paper Girls debuted on the streaming service in late July. But its basis, a comic book series from Image Comics, premiered with its first of 30 issues in October 2015. Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang — writer and illustrator of the comics, respectively — both played roles in bringing their two-dimensional narrative to the small screen.
During a roundtable interview Fangirlish participated in at San Diego Comic-Con, Chiang and Vaughan detailed their involvement in the show.
As executive producers, Vaughan described their responsibilities as finding the right partners for the show, trusting them, and giving them the freedom to bring the comics to the screen. The two of them were there to be resources — EPs who “hung on loosely but didn’t let go” of the project.
Despite that, Chiang explained how the series stays true to and maintains the vibe of its source material while allowing for more in-depth characters. But even if you’ve read the comics, the show still has surprises to offer.
Unlike the comics, the show provides women’s perspectives in that there was an all-female writers’ room. Vaughan highlighted the importance of this during the interview and pointed to a scene in episode 5 that “came directly from female experiences.”
Paper Girls has drawn comparisons to Stranger Things given both shows’ uses of adolescents being at the heart of the thrilling science-fiction stories and the primary setting of the ‘80s. But the series are just two examples of preteens and teenagers being the primary subject of such narratives.
When asked about why the age range is often used in this genre, Vaughan emphasized it is at that time in life when people start to become themselves, figuring out their identities and discovering their passions. While standard dramas can explore what it’s like to be young, Vaughan continued to say there’s something about the science fiction genre that elevates those emotions further.
“Life feels so alive, and everything matters so much (that) it feels life or death even when it doesn’t,” Vaughan said. “The genre, I think, is a great way to explore how it feels to be a young person.”
Watch the full Paper Girls interview here:
Paper Girls season one is now available on Prime Video.