Years ago, I used to read Superman comic books. One comic came out every week and I got all of them. I did that for 5 and half years. While I never stopped being a Superman fan, I didn’t want to keep reading because the weekly comics just didn’t hold my interest anymore. However, reading Superman comics was tied enough to my identity that I wondered what would happen if I stopped reading and collecting them. I know, I know, that sounds a bit weird but if you have doubts, check out the comments in my high school yearbook. Almost everyone mentioned Superman as if it were some kind of inside joke or something. Actually, wait, don’t check out my high school yearbook.
After I stopped actively collecting comics, I would still venture into a comic bookstore now and then (if I happened to pass one by) and maybe buy a trade paperback if a story looked interesting. But those times were few and far in between. I never really got sucked into anything that I had to read.
That sort of changed last week. I heard aboutY: The Last Man from various places and wanted to check it out. This story, about all the males on the planet dying off at once save for one guy, Yorick Brown, seemed intriguing enough that I wanted to see what it was all about. This finite series consisted of 60 issues, which started in 2002 and just ended this past January. Most of the comics were collected in trade paperbacks – 10 different volumes including the final yet to be released volume containing the last issues.
I read the first volume at the Borders by work during my lunch one day last week. Since they didn’t have the 2nd volume, I walked over to the nearby Barnes and Nobles to see if they had it. They did.
So during my lunches for the past couple of weeks, I was reading all of the volumes of Y: The Last Man, switching from Borders to Barnes depending on who had what. Getting closer and closer until the end, I didn’t give much thought about how the final issues won’t be compiled into volume form until June. “I can wait,” I told myself.
Turns out I couldn’t (and didn’t want to) so yesterday I ventured into a comic bookstore in Fremont that I had never been to and hoped they had copies of the last 6 issues. They did. The guy behind the counter said that the ending was sad but that he wasn’t really giving anything away because, really, what else would I expect. I figured he just spoiled for me since now I knew to be prepared.
And yet. . .
Even though I crammed the entire length of the series into two weeks as opposed to the people who had read it over the past 5-6 years, I got really attached to the characters and so the final issue carried an emotional impact. I won’t spoil it or anything but I did sort of get a bit sad and a twinge depressed.
Fiction is so weird sometimes. You know these people aren’t real. The situations may not even be realistic as it was in this case and yet it doesn’t even matter because it will still get you, y’know?
As an aside, I’m wondering why I don’t feel any shame by the fact I didn’t buy most of the series, that I read most of these in bookstores so I didn’t have to buy them. Oh well.
I’ll do a post soon about all the post-apocalyptic fiction I’ve been reading. Stay tuned.