books and reading · reviews

Graphic Novel Series You Should Check Out: Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughn

Posting on this here blog has been more sporadic than I’d like due in large part to how busy I am.  But it’s also due to the fact that my reading is down, and the things I’ve been reading aren’t actually out yet–I’m that deep into some ARCs these days.  So instead, I thought I’d talk a little about a graphic novel series that I think is well worth your time.

Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughn.  Originally published as a series of comics beginning in 2002, the series focuses on our world.  A strange virus has wiped out every mammal with a Y chromosome–every man and animal was killed instantly, leaving behind only women to pick up the pieces.  Except, for some reason, one man (child) has survived: Yorick Brown and his male Capuchin monkey Ampersand have somehow managed to survive against all odds and reason.  The two of them set off with the mysterious (and totally kick-ass) Agent 355 in search of Dr. Mann, who might be able to help them figure out why Yorick survived–and if there’s a way to bring humankind back from the brink of extinction.

That’s a very basic summary of a graphic novel series whose twists and turns keep readers guessing all the way to the series’ moving and memorable end.  The series has been collected into 10 paperbacks or 5 (gorgeous) hardcover deluxe editions.  It’s the kind of post-apocalyptic series that finds appeal with both adults and teens.  Stephen King once called it “the best graphic novel [he’s] ever read.”

It’s definitely the best, most compelling graphic novel I’ve ever read or re-read.  On this time through, I’ve noticed so much more about the mythology of the story and the characters.  It’s a story that is rich, complex, and never easy, and it’s definitely a staple for any graphic novel collection.  It’s funny and heart-breaking and often really, really awesome.

There’s a movie in the works, but it’s been in the works for a long time.  Who knows if we’ll ever see it–I hope we do, but I’m also nervous about it, because I want it to be so, so good.

If you haven’t read it, consider doing so soon.  It’s really that good.


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