(Issues 1-10) Written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Pia Guerra.
Here’s the discussion guide I wrote based on our conversation...
1. When you learned that Pia (the artist of the book) was a woman, did it change how you felt about the book as a whole? Did you have any preconceptions about reading a vision of a world where all the men are killed?
2. How did you find Yorik as a character, charming or annoying? Most men would find being the last man on earth a dream come true, but Yorik seems more emasculated rather than romanticized. Does his clumsy uselessness and humor make him a more relatable character for the reader?
3. Yorik is always putting himself into risky situations and being saved, so you think he is setting himself up for heroism or is it survivor’s guilt? Speaking of liabilities (segway!), did you think of Dr. Mann is even more of a unpredictable liability than Yorik?
4. The story opens with Beth in a skimpy bikini, how did you find this as an entry point into a story about gender? Did you consider Yorik’s involvement with Sonia as cheating on Beth?
5. Were you surprised by how severely Hero was brainwashed by the Amazons against Yorik? And what did you think about the groups of women we have been exposed to so far, such as the Amazons, Israelis, Republicans, women of Marrisville, etc? Who do you think is adapting the best/worst and why?
6. What did you find realistic versus unrealistic about this post-apocalyptic world? Did you find it too light on gore? Discuss your opinions on the implications of the problems brought up by the lack of men, such as the skill sets lost and impact on infrastructure/ government. Are the problems experienced by the survivors gender problems or simply human problems?
7. What did you think of the artwork? Did you find yourself looking in depth at the panels or was the artwork more utilitarian/ cinematic? Did you think Pia did a good job making all the people distinctive looking? Do you think this reads better as a graphic novel or does it read more episodic like the comic format it originally was released in? Did you find the fast pacing, episodic nature, and tension of the story reflected Brian K. Vaughan’s experience writing for television?
8. Was it just us, or....Did you not know Dr. Mann was Asian until halfway through? Where on earth are the surviving kids? We loved the character design sketches in the back of the book, didn’t you?
And did anyone notice that I drew Paige reading Y: The Last Man in Page by Paige?
(What a shameless plug!)