Brian K. Vaughan is the first writer I’m adding to my shelf that I know primarily through comics. Though he’s getting more recognition on television, as a writer for Lost and the new Stephen King adapted series Under the Dome.
It’s a big step for me, going from a total comic novice to saying that I’m going to seek out everything this writer has created to be able to read and enjoy it.
How I Found Him
I like to go to Teahouse Comics in Sandy Springs because the owner there knows me and Shelley has never recommended a bad book. On my first visit, she sent me home with a trade paperback of Saga. On a subsequent visit, she asked “Have you read Y the Last Man yet?” I think she’s a BKV fan, herself. She certainly turned me into one.
Why I Love Reading His Work
One of the things I love in my comics is intricacy. When I read Sandman, or The Unwritten, I love the allusions and inside jokes among the literary. I enjoy mythic references and the draw from the deep well of existing stories that both Carey and Gaiman can create.
Unlike those other examples, BKV doesn’t use a lot of references to stories outside of his worlds. He rewards the careful and attentive reader with so many intricate and connected ideas through the plotlines. I love that I can’t check out to read his stuff, that I get more out of it every time I reread it. That I feel compelled to pass it along.
The other fantastic thing about his work is character. I fall in love with his characters. They are real, multi-faceted intricate people.
What I Learn About Writing from Him
So far, the 2 series I’ve read from him have been what I’d classify as science fiction. Saga is a space opera, and Y the Last Man is post-apocalyptic Sci-Fi. I like reading this in comic form, because that’s what I’m writing. It helps me to see how someone I enjoy reading shapes and paces and creates a story in our shared genre.
I pick up ideas for characters and for plots, and for how to make issues and trades feel like they have closure for the reader, even when they really have no closure at all. I have found myself outlining and mapping BKV’s story structures to be able to understand what he does and how he does it.