Y: The Last Man (Book 1)

I’ve come to Y: The Last Man via Ex Machina. In short, it tells the story of the world when every mammal possessing a Y chromosome, i.e. dudes, suddenly and at the same time keel over. Except for two: a young guy call Yorick and his pet monkey Ampersand (that symbol you get when you press shift-7).

Having read the reviews and had friends recommend it, I want to love this book. But no matter how I cut it, I’m enjoying it but not blown away. At the moment I find Pia Guerra’s pencils competent to the point of being dull The colouring has been done with a very limited palette like someone who has just discovered the paint-can tool in Photoshop. I don’t hate it. I’m just not impressed by it.

But then there’s the writing. In most comics the writing cowers behind tight pencils. In Y, without the art to hide behind, the writing is thrown into relief. It’s good. It’s still finding it voice at the moment, but its fun and at times thrust its tongue into its cheek. I particularly liked the American government having a Democratic majority because of the relatively percentage of female Republican representatives, and a witty discussion about all the male singers and bands that have now disappeared.

But for me, comics is the double-headed Janus that needs the art just as much as the writing. Maybe this will change for Y, if I keep going with it. Mind you, to stop now would be like judging the entire Sandman series on its awkward first book.

2 Replies to “Y: The Last Man (Book 1)”

  1. OH i love Y. SO MUCH. Stick with it, at least for the first three. If you don’t love it by then, give up and gouge your eyes out with a brooch.

    Or maybe it’s a girl thing. Give it to Colleen.

    Apparently Shia LaBeouf is tipped to play Yorick in the 2009 movie…

  2. I’m a comic snob. I read comics for good writing and good art

    Let’s see … comics I love: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill; Fell by Warren Ellis and Ben Templesmith; the current run of Hellblazer by Andy Diggle and Leonardo Manco. Great writing and great art.

    Guerra’s just not doing it for me. Keep the brooch on stand by…

    Gotta say though, it’s just the art; the writing’s good and the scenario is fresh and original and so full of potential. Onto book 2 when I have the clams.

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