Geek & Sundry’s The Wednesday Club is a weekly show that dives into topics discussing all things comic books. This week, hosts Matt Key, Amy Dallen, and Taliesin Jaffe took a look at the works of writer Brian K. Vaughan. “One of my favorite things about Brian K. Vaughan… is that it always feels like there’s a bigger story behind everything he’s doing,” Taliesin said. “He tells these very human stories.”
Vaughan has worked on everything from mainstream superhero titles to independent creator-owned books, and Matt, Amy, and Taliesin had a chance to talk about their favorites.
In general, the hosts are fans of Vaughan because of his empathy and well-developed characters. “There are no cardboard people, they have dimension,” said Taliesin.
An ongoing comic since 2012, Saga is an award-winning series that counts just about every person who reads comic books as a fan. The hosts describe Saga as a gateway to comics, a “book you can hand to somebody who’s never really gotten into comics, and it’s going to be something they can immediately just sink their teeth into, and it may become their favorite book,” said Taliesin.
“That’s why I say [Vaughan’s] writing style is very accessible,” agreed Matt.
Saga tells the story of a pair of (literally) star-crossed lovers and their new baby as they make their way through the galaxy. Blending sci-fi, fantasy, and an emotional story, this comic is considered among the best comics currently ongoing. “You will cry, but you will be so happy that you’re reading this book,” said Amy.
“This is one of the only books that has ever brought me to tears,” Matt said.
(Image Comics, Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples)
The Runaways is a book about teenagers in the Marvel universe who uncover a terrible secret about their respective parents. They band together and run away, and must get through life in L.A. on their own–but of course, it won’t be easy. In some of the early issues, the team meets Cloak and Dagger, who share their own experiences as superpowered teenagers.
“[It’s] one of my favorite books of all time,” said Amy.
“One of the things that I love about the book… was how he played with the psychology of being a teenager,” Matt said.
(Marvel Comics, Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona)
If you loved The Goonies and the Spielberg adventures of the 1980s, you’ll feel right at home in Paper Girls. “Paper Girls is literally about some girls who deliver papers,” said Amy, “and then everything gets weird.”
In the wee hours of Halloween morning, the four girls discover something incredible in their suburban streets just outside of Cleveland. Things go from weird to really weird as the twelve-year-olds find themselves on a journey beyond belief. If you have an 80s nostalgia itch to scratch while you wait for the next season of Stranger Things, pick up Paper Girls.
“It is so amazing,” said Matt. “It is so good.”
(Image Comics, Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang)
One of Vaughan’s most notable works is Y: The Last Man, which ran for 60 issues in the early 2000s. “It is the story of a global catastrophe that hits,” said Amy, “and at the same moment, every male mammal in the world drops dead, except for our main character and his monkey.”
Yorick Brown is the only man left, and he must not only unravel the mystery of why he survived, but also searches for his fiancée in a world turned upside-down.
“I love this book,” Amy said.
“There’s so much to like,” agreed Taliesin.
(Vertigo Comics, Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra)
While Ex Machina might be one of Vaughan’s lesser known works, it’s no less striking. The story follows Mitchell Hundred, the world’s only superhero, who is elected mayor of New York City after he performs life-saving feats on 9/11. Focused more on politics than superheroics, Ex Machina is a unique book.
“It’s got a little bit of superhero West Wing, with a little bit of a creepy occult vibe happening,” Taliesin said.
“By the second issue I was completely absorbed by it,” Matt said.
(WildStorm/DC Comics, Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris)
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What’s your favorite book by Brian K. Vaughan? Tell us in the comments.
Images: Geek & Sundry
Other Image: Image Comics