is an intensely personal pursuit. The artist speaks directly
to the audience as individuals, monopolizing each audience
member's entire attention for the duration of the performance.
And the audience member receives a performance entirely
suited to his temperament and abilities, determining the
pace of execution of the piece to the point that they can
suspend a performance, if needed or desired, to garner elucidation
on some not sufficiently understood passage, for reflection,
in order to repeat some part of the work, or simply for
This allows and,
in the best examples, provokes the reader into more fully
engaging with story elements than they could any perceived
natural phenomenon, affording him the opportunity to hold
each element in a mental suspension of time and space, allowing
him to regard each element from every perspective.
Issue 58 of Y:
The Last Man is one of the best examples of the execution
of this art. For those of us who have been following the
story from its inception this installment begins to draw
the threads of the dramatic skein together for what we know
to be the final two issues. Usually this is a weakness of
serial fiction, the tell that exposes the bluff of a fictional
But Y #58
gives us an ending so final, so pitiable, and yet so satisfying,
that what happens to the rest of the fictional world seems
as though it can, in one sense, only be an afterthought,
while suddenly throwing the possibilities for the concluding
two episodes open from the seemingly small remaining scope
of what could have been a formulaic denoument to possibilities
unimagined and unimaginable.
so strongly evokes the sensations of love found and lost
with such immediacy in a sequence so devastatingly logical
that I was compelled to read it three times in lingering
succession. Not because the nature of the sequence was unclear.
The art is just as strong and clear and perfectly suited
to the milieu as it has been since the first issue, the
panels paced perfectly and fluidly moving one to the next.
The script is lucid and natural and breathes the life of
each character fully. It was not intellectual understanding
but emotional comprehension that was challenged by the final
The best fiction
reminds us of what we are and who we are. It lets us remember
and regard our total selves, our thoughts and feelings and
the indivisible interplay that compose our consciousness
and inform our souls.And of all the sensations that inform
us the most important, the most crucial in the maturation
of our minds and the formation of whatever wisdom we have
the good fortune to come by, is those other people with
whom we surround ourselves, either by circumstance or choice.
Of those people those of paramount importance are those
we love. The revelation of newfound love is a profound blow
to the psyche that no amount of reason can overcome. And
the sudden loss of a loved one is never fully comprehensible,
not with any immediacy, no matter what physical evidence
and rational explanation is provided. Only time can subdue
these feelings, and never entirely. Any stray sensation
can, unexpectedly, return that joy or misery to us anew.
For me, that
was the effect of the last few pages of this story. For
a piece of fiction, a popular pulp periodical, a mere comic
book to sound the echo of memory both deeply personal and
catholic is a laudible achievement. To so profoundly affect
the audience by the death of one fictional character and
the deep sense of loss in another is the pinnacle of art.
This is what has made this series, in its finest moments,
one of the very best fictional works of recent memory.