Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan & Pia Guerra (Vertigo, $12.99) (shown here: Volume 1: Unmanned -- I'll spare you all 10 book covers) (bonus: great conversation/argument starter!)
Now that the tenth and final book in Vaughan's graphic novel epic has been released in paperback, it's a great time to start with number one. An unknown plague wipes out the male half of humankind, except for escape artist Yorick and his pet monkey, who quickly become hot commodities -- but it's not as fun (for him) as it sounds.
I've been working my way through the journey that is Y this year, and it's as worthwhile as I was told. Vaughan is my favorite writer of mainstream/adventure/hero comics, and he knows how to write snappy dialogue as well as a heck of a road trip story. Yes, he is a man writing a world of women (drawn by excellent female artist Pia Guerra), but he does a fair enough job that it's food for thought, even if you take issue with his vision. Read it for the satisfying action, the clever plot twists, the Shakespearean allusions. Then start conversations about what it would mean for politics (or the justice system, or music, or literature) if the only participants left were women.
I am the co-proprietor of Greenlight Bookstore in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. I live in Brooklyn's Park Slope neighborhood with the ALP (Adorably Literate Partner), who reads everything that I don't. Here, I'd like to write some strictly personal thoughts about books I've read.