• Top 10 People Changing the Face of Comics – Part 1: Brian K. Vaughan

Over the next few weeks I’m going to profile 10 different people in the comics industry who, in my opinion, are doing the most to change the face of comics. Today’s entry is…

Brian K. Vaughan: Comics’ Celebrity

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The comics industry needs more celebrities. And not just celebrities within it’s own bubble, but household name celebrities who bring a much-lacking respect and hipness to the industry.

Brian K. Vaughan isn’t quite a household name (yet) but he’s just about the closest thing we’ve got.

Vaughan is the writer of Vertigo’s ‘Y: The Last Man,’ Wildstorm’s ‘Ex Machina,’ and the creator of Marvel’s ‘Runaways’ among others. He most recently released the critically acclaimed (and award winning) graphic novel, ‘Pride of Baghdad,’ through Vertigo. He is also currently writing a 6-issue arc of Joss Whedon’s ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8’ for Dark Horse.

Vaughan began to break out of comics as well.  Currently he’s in his second season as a staff-writer on the hit TV Show, ‘Lost.’  (Or will be once the strike is over.)

He is also currently adapting two of his projects for the big screen. His scripts for Ex Machina and Y: The Last Man are both in development at New Line Cinema.

His face can be seen just about everywhere – from Entertainment Weekly naming Ex Machina one of the ten best works of fiction, to Wired Magazine naming him one of their Rave award winners recognizing innovators, instigators, and inventors in the world of print (alongside J.K. Rowling,) to an MTV News spot focusing solely on Vaughan.

Vaughan’s work has been featured and/or reviewed in countless mainstream media outlets, including The New York Times, MTV, USA Today, National Public Radio, and female magazine Bust, which photographed him for their “Men We Love” issue.

He has been name-dropped by such geek celebs as Janeane Garofalo, Joe Hill, Rosario Dawson, Jeff Garlin & Patton Oswolt.

Vaughan has done a lot to change the face of comics, including broadening his reach through both female characters and readers. Runaways is a book which features average looking teenagers dealing with average teenage problems, making it a favorite among teen girls. And his Y: The Last Man (drawn by the fabulous female artist, Pia Guerra) tells the story of a man named Yorick, who wakes one day to realize that he is the only man left alive on earth after a devastating plague.

Whereas most comic book writers would go in a typical sexist route with a premise like that, Y is praised as a great piece of pro-feminist fiction that explores in a very mature, honest, & introspective way what the world would look like without men.

Ex Machina tells the story of a superhero who becomes mayor of New York, mixing politics with heroics in a way that’s never been seen before. Like many of his books, it plays like a great television drama… a West Wing with Batman as President.

Brian K. Vaughan is a writer with the imagination, insight, & skill to rival the Stephen King’s or M. Night Shyamalan’s of the world. It’s time for a comic book writer to get the same recognition and respect that those authors & filmmakers do.

If there is anyone who deserves the title of “comics celebrity,” it’s Brian K. Vaughan… and that’s refreshing. Vaughan has raised the bar of comic book writing, and he’s rewarded for it. This should be a wake up call to all of the comics industry. If we want to be respected as an art form, we need to step up and make works of daring entertainment.

He also further supports the theory that all great writers are bald. Which, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) for me, means I’ll have to wait a few years to be a great writer… but it most certainly is coming.


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