I was exposed to comic books at a fairly young age. I’m not exactly sure when this was, but I had definitely already begun reading comics sparingly during middle school. I never really got into reading them; I owned fairly few comic books, mainly just the two issues of Ultimate Iron Man that I never finished because they were long and had a lot of talking. As a kid I was more interested in Iron Man using his advanced technological weaponry to destroy people. Even without buying comics though, I was constantly exposed to them through my family and the media.
My dad grew up reading the Archie comics as a kid, and he often visited a local comic book store named Austin Books. They had free comic book day every week, which is held in comic books stores across the country, and is pretty self explanatory. A few comics are given out for free to garner interest in them and hopefully hook readers. My dad would frequently return with five or six comic books from free comic book day. Occasionally I would read some, but there were none that held my attention. However, this introduced comics to me as something that adults could enjoy and that did not necessarily only entertain concepts favored by young audiences.
Y: The Last Man was a refreshing reentry to the comic book world. I thought it was interesting because it combines contemporary political issues with an apocalyptic fantasy that’s been entertained by people. I also like the complex relationships that Vaughan develops between his characters. He truly makes it a world conflict by including people from nations such as Israel and Australia. Vaughan also balances the tension between humor and crisis. Instead of maintaining a purely distraught mood, there is comedic relief through the actions between Yorick and his monkey Ampersand. They allow the tense moments to be that much more effective, since they don’t lose their effect by being continuously maintained.
Continuing the reading of more grown-up comics, I researched another comic written by
Vaughan: Pride of Baghdad. It’s about a group of four lions that escape from the Baghdad Zoo after American forces conduct a bombing raid on the city. The comic poses the question of the state of living; it contrasts dangerous freedom with secure captivity. I am interested in it because it is another comic that is relevant to recent as well as current events, and I was already impressed with Vaughan’s ability to comment on those.