I think I posted when I finished reading Y: the Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan, but I didn't say anything about it. For me this comic has been a long strange journey, beginning with picking up the first volume from the library on a whim, years ago, and ending with an entirely different library ordering all of the volumes they didn't have, on my request. Have I mentioned how much I love when libraries do that? Have I mentioned how much I love libraries?
Anyway, Y was published around the turn of the century, so it's lost some visibility and the appeal of being set in the alternate here and now. But I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone, and specifically those of you who:
~ Want to like comics but can't find one that resonates
~ Are interested in world politics
~ Are interested in gender studies
~ Like monkeys
~ Feel a guilty kind of satisfaction in apocalyptic, population-decimating stories
~ Like to speculate on "what would I do in this situation that I will never actually find myself in?"
~ Like to read things that are good
I've got a few quibbles, but never mind those. Please note that I don't fall into all of the categories I list above, and I still loved it. This is a masterpiece and should be approached as such.
The edition that I read also had a feature I've seen in graphic novels before and absolutely love: the original script for one issue in the back of the book, complete with author's notes. If you've never seen one, you'll be surprised at how closely it resembles a script for a TV episode. There are a lot of little insights on the finished product, and also the comic writing process, which I value much more.
One particular thing I noticed in those scripts, and I'm not really sure why I'm talking about this, was Vaughan's description of Yorick threatening a "black stallion" and the horse's owner gasping, "Buttercup!" I read that over a few times, thinking that Buttercup is a weird name for a black stallion, and only then realized what was really wrong with it: the entire premise of the series is that all male mammals, excepting two, are dead. The author is no dummy, and he uses animals in his work often enough to show he likes them, but apparently he just didn't know what the word stallion means.
It's possible that the reason I'm talking about it is because it's comforting. Genius writers don't know everything. Trivial mistakes that you make in your comic script aren't going to ruin it, so just keep writing.
Mr. Vaughan, we meet again. (Okay, we've been meeting for a while now.) Saga's the comic I'll most likely never drop, but this arc was supposed to knock me off my feet and mostly I'm just upset.
I had been predicting a second Alana/Marko child for a long time, and I was psyched to finally be right. It's not that the ultimate fate of the pregnancy was poorly handled, but it's such a dead end and I don't see why we have to keep watching these characters suffer. The suicidally religious meerkat clan was along the same lines. A bunch of good people die, for what, to show that the universe is a terrible place? That faith kills?
This is probably not really the end of The Will, ahem, I mean, Billy, but if he's going to keep fantasizing about The Stalk, I kind of wish it was. And he can just forget about Lying Cat. She's Sophie's now. I have to reread because I can't really remember what Sophie and Gwendolyn are up to. I never used to forget plot points for Saga.
No cut for Animosity, because there isn't even much to spoil yet. I don't often discover comics in their extreme youth, and I kind of like it. The concept for this one is so bizarre and implausible that I keep thinking it's going to fall through, but it's got enough self-awareness to know when to lampshade and when to play it straight. I've always liked talking animals, it's just my thing. There's a lot of intrigue in just looking at that idea from an adult point of view, and it doesn't hurt that the main character's name is an ASOIAF reference (and exactly what I've often thought I would name a hound if I had one).
Don't have time to hook this entry up with links, but if you're curious, please do ask and I'll tell you whatever you want to know. Comixology has a subscription service now. Tempting!