Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan & Cliff Chiang

PaperGirls_Vol01-1In the early hours of the day after Halloween, four teenage girls set out on their paper routes. “Hell Day,” they call it, as erstwhile teenage trick-or-treaters (emphasis on “trick”) still roam the streets and most do not welcome girl paper carriers, especially the very first paper girls. But what they encounter that morning is something much worse, much more deadly, than teenage bullies.

Set in 1988, Paper Girls follows Erin as she is saved from bullies by the very first “paper girl” Mac – a tough-talking cigarette-smoking 12 year old – and her paper carrying friends KJ and Tiffany.  They pair off for safety, but soon Tiffany and KJ are confronted by three boys in strange costumes who steal Tiffany’s walkie-talkie. The four resolve to find the boys responsible, ultimately following them to the basement of an unoccupied house. But instead of Tiff’s walkie-talkie, they find an incredibly strange, almost alien, capsule. It suddenly activates, the girls run outside, and see the three men who robbed Tiff. Confronting them, the girls discover that they are not in fact teenage boys, at least not as 1988 America would call them.

As the girls try to make sense of what has happened, the find that they world has abruptly and radically changed. The sky is pink, lightning flashes and what appear to be pterodactyls fly across the sky. Most people have disappeared, and communication technology no long works. Confronted by the radically unknown, the girls do what they do best – stick together, protect each other and never, ever back down.

Brian K. Vaughn (Saga, Y: The Last Man) creates yet another fantastic mystery in Paper Girls, capturing the defiance, fearlessness and loyal friendships of young teens as they face what may very be the end of the world.

We Sing 80s

we sing 80sI love karaoke, but I’m not fond of the whole “getting up in front of other people and embarrassing yourself” part of karaoke. Let’s be honest: when you go to do karaoke, you’re stuck in front of people in a semi-awkward situation, and unless those people are all your relatives or you are a professional singer in disguise, you’re going to be nervous. Conquering these nerves can be accomplished through practice. A new way to practice, besides spending money on lessons or singing in the car or around the house, is to play a singing videogame. My favorites are the ones similar to Rock Band that show you note length and highlight varying changes in pitch, so you’re essentially learning the songs without having to pay for sheet music.

Some of the most popular songs to play on karaoke nights are songs that almost everyone in the audience is familiar with. I have noticed that songs from the 1980s seem to be picked a lot, so I was excited when I found We Sing 80s, a videogame available for the Wii, that provides players with 30 of the biggest songs of the ’80s (21 worldwide No. 1 hits!) along with their music videos for the ultimate 80s experience. Players will be able to play three different modes, from solo to party to karaoke with up to four people jamming together. If you’re unsure how a song goes, you can even take singing lessons and figure out how to add different effects to your voice. You can also change the level of difficulty to make everyone comfortable. So grab your friends and get ready to rock out to a night of Queen, Culture Club, Tears for Fears, Cyndi Lauper, and many more.