Welcome Back, Brian K. Vaughan

Just around the time the earliest versions of iFanboy were getting ramped up, a young writer named Brian K. Vaughan started showing up in the credits of some very good comic books. The first issues of Y: The Last Man and Ex Machina were both Picks of the Week, and several times after as well. Vaughan was the very first video interview we ever shot for our new regular video show. Vaughan is probably the best known modern writer in comics to have almost no presence on social media. We don’t know him outside of a few interviews, and his comics. Those comics, from Y: The Last Man to Ex Machina to Pride of Baghdad to Runaways all had a bigger hand in attracting new readers to comics than almost anything else at the time. He’s one of the only guys who cracked the idea of making comics for both a wide audience and for the existing comic book readers. He is a master of the single issue, but continues to sell collected editions of his work to this day. Only Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead seems to have beaten Vaughan at this game.

Then Vaughan got a job in TV, working for Lost, and whatever other jobs followed, and he left comics for a time. In that time, we’ve seen comics flail a bit. The bigger companies are looking inward, and trying to reinvent versions of themselves that are basically unchanged. The smaller companies have flooded the racks with books, both good and bad that simply don’t have enough readers to sustain themselves. Meanwhile everyone who can find a forum is telling their idea of how to fix comics. Yet we heard not a word from Vaughan himself, who seemed to have a lock on how to make comics that don’t need fixing.

Then, Image announced that he’d be returning to comics with Saga, as drawn by Fiona Staples. Some people got upset about breastfeeding, and then we forgot about them just as quickly. The first reviews of Saga came in, and things looked promising for this long epic sci-fi space adventure about new parents from warring cultures, a Romeo and Juliet with horns and teeth. Today, the issue hit the stands and digital devices across the world, and I have just a touch more hope for comics in my soul. He’s not going to save comics. That would be a naive point of view, but he’s comics are definitely better for having Brian K. Vaughan making them.

Welcome back, Brian. We’ve missed you terribly.




  1. I remember when he linked to your Conor’s POTW for the Escapists #6 in his forum noting that it was the first time the three of you agreed on that. It Worlds collided as my two favorite places on the Internet suddenly coexsisted.

    • That book was so good!

    • Brian K Vaughn is the reason I started reading comic books. I read Y The Last Man by chance, then a co-worker recommended Escapists, then I read Chabon’s book, then I read Pride of Bagdhad (my favorite), then looked online and found iFanboy.

      iFanboy made me continue reading comics …

      So grateful for the both of you

    • That book got me back into drawing comics again. It is the only BKV I want to get signed.

    • I read that book at least a couple of times a year. My wife asked me once what I liked most about it and I said that my favorite comic writer isn’t writing comics, but this mini is basically his love letter to the art form.

  2. Well, I’ve certainly missed him.

    Still haven’t gotten around to Runaways, but last year I devoured all ten trades of Y in less than a week. Ex Machina is the only experience I’ve had with BKV on a month-to-month basis. Even though many feel that it kinda petered out towards the end of the run, it was still a title that I looked forward to from start to finish. The man simply doesn’t disappoint. His plots are airtight, and his dialog is sharp as a knife. He also attracts some really talented artists.

    My LCS was out of Saga almost immediately, but I’m anxiously awaiting my reorder. I have a feeling this is the start of something wonderful.

  3. Saga really was like a breath of fresh air.

    Image has been blowing everyone out of the water in 2012.

    • “Image has been blowing everyone out of the water in 2012”

      But IDW and Archaia not far behind.

      Very well said Josh. I can’t wait to get a break at work to read Saga.

    • Oni is putting out a lot of good stuff too. It’s been a good year for the “independents”

    • Seconded for Image and Archaia (I haven’t been following much IDW or Oni, but I have no bad feelings about them either). I’d also like to throw Dark Horse in to that mix, there has been some great stuff in Dark Horse Presents, a lot of which is spinning off in to their own books. And Becky Cloonan’s art on the new Conan series has been blowing me away. Usagi Yojimbo, Baltimore and Lobster Johnson have also been good.

    • The Lobster Johnson might be the finest mini-series from the Hellboy world we’ve seen in a while.

    • @megavikingman: I can’t turn enough people on to Dark Horse Presents. Monthly anthology books are a hard sell, but the level of talent Dark Horse has packed the pages of DHP with is staggering. Also, great calls on Lobster Johnson and Usagi.

    • I can’t wait for that Lobster Johnson story to wrap up, I’ve been buying Mignolaverse in digital bundles form Dark Horse. BPRD has still been fantastic too!

    • Wow really? Saga is my first taste of Image, having mainly stuck around DC/Vertigo for years. Would love to dive futher into Image Comics but don’t really know where to start.

      What’s something good from Image that has a serious nature (in the same tone as stuff from Saga or most Vertigo issues)? Thanks.

    • I’d say that’s a tough one. Vertigo definitely skews more “serious” than Image for the most part.

      Here’s some stuff I’d suggest though:
      Green Wake
      Pax Romana
      Manhattan Projects
      Morning Glories (maybe)

      Outside of Image, definitely check out Locke & Key from IDW, I’d say it’s pretty “vertigo-y”

  4. Couldn’t agree more, Josh. Perfectly said.

    I said it in the thread for the issue. The comics world is better with BKV in it.

  5. Just finished reading SAGA, WHAT A BLAST! I’ve read some of Runaways and the first arc of Y: and the man just plain gets comics. Excited to finally be able to read a monthly of his, not to mention the fantastic art.

    • You were able to stop after the first arc of Y the Last Man?? I was mainlining that book once I started it.

    • I was slowly catching up on a lot of main universe DC stuff as well as Walking dead when i read it. It is on the top of my list for reading, i actually have the deluxe edition vol 2, i just need to get vol 1.

  6. Hear hear!!

    Just put the book down. It was outstanding. I’m officially hooked. It’s good to have you back, Brian!

  7. Cool show…thanks for doing it. He was in his heydey during that time when i was not reading comics, now i really want to go back and read all those books that i’d always heard mentioned as part of the “required reading”

    • Y The Last Man is just seriously entertaining, inventive, and good. It hits about every emotional response that can be evoked over the course of the series.

  8. There are a few writers who, to me, have a voice just their own. Brian K. Vaughan is one of them; can’t wait to see how Saga unfolds. It’s good to have him back making comics.

  9. I don’t want to rain on everyone’s parade but…just kidding, I freaking loved it. Alana might be my new favorite heroine. I can’t wait to find out more about these characters and their universe.

  10. Ex Machina was the best first issue I ever read, i have super high expectations for Saga

  11. Ah, quality comics. I’ve missed you

  12. Vaughn wrote what I think of as the best comics story ever. Y: the Last Man. All his other stories have varied between good and excellent. After reading Saga today, I’m interested. I’m not sold or amazed. It was a solid opening chapter. Good art and inventive scenery. The oddness of the book makes me wonder what the boundaries are supposed to be. In a setting where, literally, anything seems possible I am concerned that there will be a lack of focus. Concern, however, does not translate to damnation and I will keep at it until it doesn’t interest me anymore. Knowing his history that will be when he decides he is no longer interested in it.

  13. It’s amazing how much the quality shot up on Lost as soon as they brought Vauhgan on board (and how quickly it went to shit as soon as he left).

    Anyway, I’m glad we have him back.

  14. I owe BKV for getting me back into comics. I never really left, but I was down to semi-occasionally stopping at the comic store, not even monthly, and picking up a Green Arrow or Black Panther or a random trade. Then volume 2 of Runaways started getting publicity and the force of nostalgia of seeing the Excelsior team (especially Ricochet!) got me excited, so I bought the three digests and fell in love with the characters. That got me back in the store on a regular basis and eventually I’d see another book like New Avengers that sounded cool and another and another. And now I spend most of my fun money on comics in a month. And without that I’d doubt I’d be the high unsuccessful comic vlogger I am today. So thank you BKV, I’ve risen to sup-bar mediocrity because of you!

  15. Just read Saga and loved it.
    Everyone should also be picking up Planet of the Apes from Boom! for the same reasons.
    Even though it’s a licensed title, it doesn’t feel like one. Fresh characters (a strong, non-sexualized female lead, wha?)
    and intricate world building make it one of the best things out there every month.