Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Genre Character of the Week: Yorick Brown

I think that around the age of 13, when I was too afraid to talk to girls but was starting to get really, really interested in them I began having the fantasy that a lot of young men have - What if I were the last man alive? Then she'd talk to me, right? The character we'll be looking at this week is given exactly this scenario, and unfortunately for him, it is not nearly as cool as my 13-year-old self thought it would be. This week, we're looking at Yorick Brown from Brian K. Vaughan's series Y: the Last Man.

An escape artist and slacker, Yorick begins the series as a man in need of a direction. He's working part time as a monkey trainer, but that's about the only contribution he appears to be making to the world, and he's not really doing so well at training his first helper monkey, Ampersand.

For those of you who haven't read it yet, the premise o the series is pretty straight forward, one day every male on earth (yes, animals included) simply dies. After all the plane crashes and car crashes, the women of Earth pick themselves up and begin moving on. There's just one thing - Yorick Brown is still alive, in fact so is his male monkey Ampersand.

What I like best about Yorick as a character is (in addition to the always wonderful character arcs) his ability to grow as a person. I'm also a sucker for the fact that he stays pretty faithful to his girlfriend/fiancé Beth (who begins the story in Australia) for years. Yorick starts the series as a guy going nowhere fast, and throughout the series begins to adapt and change to fit his new world.

Also as a huge fan of post-apocalyptic film and fiction, I love how the series asks a "what if?" question that could only come from a 13-year-old boy, and follows the concept wherever it might lead.

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