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.