I've been a bookseller for long enough to genuinely wish that I could take part in one of those monstrously popular series. The Harry Potter and Stieg Larsson books spring to mind right off the bat, but to be fair, I'd even settle for being on board for something like Twilight. Anything that inspires the kind of obsessive hunger pangs that one must endure while they await the next volume.
The point I'm awkwardly fumbling around here is this: I simply haven't had the opportunity to experience the love, frustration, and waiting associated with serial fiction. Or any kind of serialized writing, for that matter.
Until one fateful day (a handful of weeks ago) when a co-worker told me about a comic book written by the incredibly talented Bryan K. Vaughan called Y: The Last Man.
I have to acknowledge, this is by no means a new series. It started its 60 issue run in 2002 and concluded in 2008, so I definitely missed out on all of the award buzz and fanfare.
At any rate, I trusted the co-worker who recommended it, and I saw that we had volumes one through four. Within the week, I had torn through all of them, was placing orders for volumes five through eight (as we had nine and ten in stock), and was literally dreaming about the series. Dreaming! It's so good that it literally permeated my subconscious, and got me to put down a collection of short stories that I'd been enjoying. When you're craving pizza, sushi will not leave you feeling satisfied. Though this series transcends mere sustenance, my friends.
This narrative is simply amazing. Not once did I complete a volume with anything but an intense need to continue the tale and know what happens next. Oh, the twists, oh, the turns!
To give you a spoiler-free idea of what you're in for, the premise is that one day in 2002, all of the men in the world die except for, you guessed it, our protagonist (and his pet Capuchin)! As Hollywood has proven with Every Which Way But Loose and Bedtime for Bonzo, anyone with a monkey is pretty worthwhile (see: Clint Eastwood, Ronald Reagan). I feel like this is a good time to mention that this series shares no similarities, and thus cannot be described as cheesy (or anything negative, for that matter).
Since receiving this final pay-off, I've been exploring new avenues in the land of graphic novels and arty comics. Brian K. Vaughan's stint with Runaways was pretty amazing, as well as Bill Willingham's Fables, and Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead.
Now, to the best of my understanding, these are all relatively well-established titles and authors. I don't wish to present them as undiscovered gems simply because their collective awesomeness went under my radar until somewhat recently. I'm just hoping that maybe someone will stumble across these titles, sample the flavor, and find themselves delightfully hooked on at least one awesome series.
As for me, I'm off to continue my romp through the post-apocalyptic world of Rick Grimes and co. in The Walking Dead Compendium.