Aaron Albert: A very serious first question. You are stuck on a desert island with only one cast member from Y: The Last Man, whom would you take with you and why?
Brian K. Vaughn: How could I NOT choose Agent 355?
AA: How are you feeling now that the last issue of Y: The Last Man is almost on the street?
BKV: Writing that final panel was very strange, a mixture of relief and depression, but it didn't feel like really saying good-bye since I still had to see the last of Pia’s pencils and the last of Clemens letters and so on. It probably won't sink in until after I've held the last issue in my hands.
MySpace and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund are throwing a big Y: The Last Man “wrap party” at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles on February 8th, so if you want to witness me weep like an Oscar clip, that'll probably be the place to see it live.
AA: You originally pitched Y: The Last Man as a limited series, just after Swamp Thing was cancelled. You had the whole thing mapped out and have stuck to that original finite storyline. Looking back, what would you do differently?
BKV: Nothing. It's far from perfect, but I love it, warts and all. Save that rewriting history stuff for George Lucas.
AA: Did any of the story changed since your original pitch?
BKV: Not the major events, but important side trips like "Safeword" definitely arose from conversations I had during the journey with artist/co-creator Pia Guerra.
AA: What has been your favorite storyline in Y: The Last Man?
BKV: The final issue is my favorite, happily enough.
AA: Do you see yourself returning to this world you have created in Y: The Last Man? In what capacity?
BKV: Nope, never. Stories aren't stories without endings.
AA: You’ve talked about how the journey that Yorick has taken has been somewhat inspired by your own path of going from a young kid to a man. How much of Yorick is inspired by you? What parallels do you see in Yoricks path and yourself?
BKV: I guess we have a few surface similarities, but really, Yorick is relatively handsome and outgoing, while I am a ghoulish shut-in. But I'm hopefully somewhat less annoying and suicidal.
AA: What kind of affect would you say having Pia Guerra as a consistent artist throughout the series done for the series as a whole and you as a writer? I note that she has only been absent as lead penciller from seventeen of the sixty issues.
BKV: The success of the book, especially with women and other readers new to comics, is entirely thanks to Pia Guerra. Not because she happens to be a woman, but because she's an unbelievably talented artist who draws performances that everyone can relate to, and creates storytelling that is absolutely accessible to anyone, even if the only comics you've ever read are the Sunday funnies.
AA: What will you miss most about working with Pia?
BKV: The insane late-night emails that would pop up because of something she found in her obsessive research. I actually hope those continue...
AA: What have you been most proud of about the series as a whole?
BKV: That we told our entire story exactly the way we wanted to tell it, always respecting our audience but never letting their likes or dislikes influence the direction of the book.
AA: How is the Y: The Last Man movie progressing?
BKV: Everything's in carbonite freeze right now because of the WGA strike. New Line was nice enough to let me take a stab at writing a draft of the screenplay, and I'm really proud of what I wrote and very grateful for the opportunity, but there's no guarantee that it'll be used, or that the film will ever even be made.
And to be honest, that's fine with me. Pia and I made a nice amount of scratch from the deal, and it might be fun to see a live-action version of our characters, but I never saw our series as glorified storyboards. Comics are obviously a unique medium with lots of strengths that film and television will never have, and I only ever envisioned Y as a comic.
So it's always a little disheartening when people tell me that they'll be crushed if Y never becomes a movie or an HBO series or whatever, like the comic was just the means to an end. The only destination that ever mattered to me was Issue #60.