Sunday, June 12th, 2005

Woman King

If you’re a comics fan and haven’t been reading Vertigo’s Y – The Last Man, boy have you been missing out. One of the best titles on the market today, it’s the story of one Yorick Brown (and his monkey Ampersand), a would-be escape artist who by some freak circumstance becomes the only survivor of a worldwide plague that kills anyone else with a Y-chromosone. There’s astronauts, conspiracy theories, thespians, lesbians, monkey poop-flinging — it’s got everything, and it’s amazingly well-written and drawn by multiple Eisner award-nominees Brian K Vaughan and Pia Guerra. My description there probably makes it sound jokey or campy, but it’s totally not – it has more of a serious Twilight Zone tone, though there is humour and a lot of humanity in it.

It’s no small thing when I say that Y is the ONLY comic that I wait to come out in trade paperback form, just because it reads so much better like that. I tried going monthly for a while, but getting a mere 24 pages a month was even more torturous than the semi-annual trade releases. As it is, I try not to even look at the covers in the comic shops lest I ruin some of the surprise. I’m incorrigably impatient for stuff like this so you better believe I’m anxious for the fifth volume, “Ring Of Truth”, to be released in a month’s time. As I said back at the beginning, if you read comics but don’t read Y, you really oughta give it a chance. To help facilitate conversions, DC has put the first issue online in PDF format to give a taste. It’s a good intro, but you really need to read all of the first story arc, “Unmanned”, to appreciate it. There’s also a 2003 video interview with BKV where he goes into the background of the story a little bit.

And as with all things in the comics world, Y has been optioned for a movie, though I think it’s still stuck quite happily in development hell. My main question about a film adaptation would be how would they end the story, assuming it’s made before the comic book’s planned 70-odd issue run is over. Surely they couldn’t give away the ending that Vaughan has saved up for the big finish in a few years’ time, could they?

But at least we can rest assured that no comic book adaptation will ever be as bad as this, which comes to us courtesy of The Great Curve. Ghetto Man? Seriously? Oh man. And yes, it’s real.

And whilst on the topic of “no men allowed”, Womenfolk has moved to a domain of their very own, and they’re offering a terrific 20-track mix to celebrate both the move and their one-year anniversary. Bravo!

In the vague future releases department – Wilco will be releasing their live CD/DVD set culled from four nights at The Vic in Chicago this Fall and You Ain’t No Picasso gets it straight from the pop-punk poet’s mouth that Ted Leo & The Pharmacists hope to have the follow-up to last year’s Shake The Sheets recorded by this October and out by next February.

In case you hadn’t seen it, The National Post and Globe & Mail‘s pop music writers have been having a fascinatingly in-depth discussion about Coldplay and their artistic sincerity (or lack thereof) on their respective blogs. The pertinent posts are scattered throughout the past week’s entries, but they’re worth going back and reading if you want to see the whole thing. Who ever would have expected so milquetoast a band to trigger such inspired debate?!

np – Pavement / Wowee Zowee

By : Frank Yang at 9:02 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Matt says:

    Thanks for the Y – The Last Man recommendation Frank, I really enjoyed the first issue PDF. I’ll have to see if my local comic shop has it in stock.

  2. Robbie says:

    Thanks for the great mention, Frank. Much appreciated!

  3. Nav says:

    I read somewhere that Vaughn has two ending he’s deciding between. Whichever he doesn’t decide to use in the books will be used for the film.

    I could be wrong about this.

  4. angryrobot says:

    Damn, now I feel guilty for only having read the first two arcs. I kind of dropped off when we (my wife buys all the comics) switched to month-by-month.

    By the way, if you’re a Warren Ellis fan, do check out the premier issue of Desolation Jones, his new book.

  5. Frank says:

    I’m hit or miss on Ellis. Some of his stuff is great, but he can lose the plot every now and again. I’ll check out Desolation Jones, though.

  6. Dave says:

    I think Y is actually running 60 issues. I started picking up the issues because I couldn’t wait, and the current "Girl On Girl" arc is turning out really well. Let’s hope they can keep it up.

    I’ve started picked up Neil Gaiman’s Sandman trades on Amazon – at $14, you can’t really go wrong.