Wang knew early on that he wanted to make his living as an artist. At first, he was fixated on the idea of becoming an animator and, as a child, he had a poster of Walt Disney over his bed. Then, in fifth grade, Wang read his first comic: “Superman and the Atomic Kingdom.” “It really freaked me out — I stayed up nights, thinking about the atomic bomb,” Wang says. “That really demonstrated to me how powerful the combination of words and pictures could be, and it really got comics under my skin.”
§ The Forward, “the Jewish daily”, looks at the character of Alter in Y the Last Man from an Israeli perspective:
It’s a Zionist plot, all right, but not a particularly invidious one, since nearly everyone else — including the Australians, the Russians and an outlaw band of man-hating Amazons — is in hot pursuit of the same fellow. The Israeli commander is one tough cookie. But as cast by Vaughan and artist Pia Guerra, Alter is rationally motivated, devoted to her country and, as the series progresses, endowed with hidden layers of complexity, humanity and even vulnerability. If she has a flaw, Vaughan declared in a telephone interview from the Burbank, Calif., studio where he now writes for the TV series “Lost,” it is that “she’s a little overzealous — to say the least.”
You’ve been out promoting the book at cons even before it was finished, which is a little unusual. Why go that road, no pun intended?
This is the bookstore guy in me. That and the pragmatist. Most books fail. By fail I mean that they sell less than 1000 copies in a typical year. By most I mean around 90%+ of what’s published in a given year, at least in English. First books by unknown authors will generally fair extremely poorly in both the book trade and the Direct Market. So, one of the things I’ve struggled with in putting the book together was trying to avoid having it fall completely on it’s face when it finally hits store shelves. Going out and trying to build some awareness for it before it was available was (and is) a good thing to do. How will people know to order a book if they don’t know it exists until it ships? And for an unknown author it’s even trickier. This ain’t “Frank Miller’s road to god knows…,” after all. Page from “the road to god knows…”
Both the movie and the comic-book novel on which it is based appeared in times of deteriorating US diplomatic relations in the Middle East, and 300 opened as the extended American military presence in Iraq was increasingly testing the patience of both the American populace and the international political community. In this context, both Miller’s graphic novel and Snyder’s film may contribute to an American Orientalist xenophobia, seamlessly bridging the divide between ancient Persia and the present-day Middle East in the popular imagination. Both the film and the book took their place in an American political, social, and cultural climate which initially supported a passive acquiescence regarding the unjust transgressions of Guantanamo Bay and the Patriot Act, and which has subsequently become bitterly divided concerning East/West relations and their domestic ramifications.