I heard that one of my heroes was going to be signing autographs at Midtown Comics Downtown. So, The Illumi-Nerdi ventured to downtown NYC this evening to meet the one and only Brian K. Vaughan. For the few of you that have called your most recent residence “Under A Rock”, Brian K. Vaughan is the absolutely brilliant scribe behind the political superhero Mitchell Hundred in “Ex Machina”, the group of pubescent heroes in “Runaways”, the incredibly touching and heartbreaking story of a group of lions in “Pride of Baghdad” (one of the best single graphic novels I’ve ever read), the fascinating new series Saga, and everything that made me want to write; “ Y: The Last Man”.
I’ve been a fan of BKV since I started reading comic books. To me, he was the one constant in an ever changing medium. So many writers have their hits and their misses. But (for me at least) everything Brian K. Vaughan did was a homerun. He was, and is, the one writer that has consistently kept me turning pages. Say what you will for Alan Moore, Stan Lee, Mike Mignola, Grant Morrison and Geoff Johns (some of my other favorites) but BKV is one of the only comic writers that can keep me up until 4:00 in the morning needing more. Not wanting more. But needing more. He’s one of the select few that I feel like if I don’t continue reading, something awful might happen to me.
And that’s why I requested off from work all day Thursday so that I could go downtown and shake this man’s hand. And all I can say is: I was not disappointed. I’ve met plenty of other writers in my day as an uberfan. I’ve had some pretty good experiences with the comic book elite (Robert Kirkman was very receptive to my dry sarcasm) and some situations that left something to be desired (Geoff Johns was just looking to move the line along), but BKV was perfectly willing, and genuinely interested in everything I had to say. So often do you hear about people meeting their heroes and being disappointed and upset with their callous attitude and disregard for their fans. But while I was a shy nerd, Brian Vaughan was asking me questions, more interested in what I had to say than, me, the person saying it. All I wanted to do was say “Thank you for inspiring me to write” but he thanked me for reading and asked me (actually interested) “What are you writing”. Why should he care? He really shouldn’t (I probably wouldn’t if I were him), but he is still unpretentiously interested in what his fans are doing. That’s what makes him one of the uniquely readable comic book writers out there right now.
If you haven’t read “Saga” yet, don’t borrow it from your friend or read it in your comic store. Buy it. Believe me, it’s a series you’re going to want to say you’ve had since issue one. It’s an exceptionally distinct series. And If BKV did nothing but awful stories since Y: The Last Man, or as Zachary Levi called it on the TV series Chuck “the greatest literary achievement of our generation” (of which I wholeheartedly agree), I would read anything he did if only for the fact that he is a supremely nice gentleman.