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Brian K. Vaughan Dishes on Y, Ex Machina, Runaways, Lost and More

NYCC special guest Brian K. Vaughan has been kept plenty busy this weekend, participating in multiple panelsBrian K. Vaughan each day of the show, and today was no exception. Vaughan sat in on the Wildstorm panel and, with editor Will Dennis, sat for a one hour spotlight and Q&A with the audience. Between the two appearances, Vaughan shared a wealth of information, much of which involves upcoming storylines on his signature books, and these peeks behind the creative curtain were regularly revealed employing his trademark witticisms.

It was confirmed that Y: The Last Man will conclude in January, with the “double-sized mega issue” #60. In other Y news, Vaughan’s final draft screenplay was delivered to New Line Cinema a couple of months back, and he says “everyone [at New Line] likes the script … unless they’re lying to me.” The screenplay is currently going out to prospective directors, which fact prompted Vaughan to remark, ‘it’s been upgraded from development hell to development heck.”

Responding to a question from the audience regarding the germination of the concept for Y, Vaughan mentioned that he’s told several fictional origin stories over the years, but that the plain truth is that he “went to an all boy’s Catholic high school,” and that “every nerd’s third grade fantasy [is that] the cute redheaded girl would fall in love with me if only every other dude in the class dropped dead.” From a dramatic standpoint, his interest was in subverting that fantasy.
In Ex Machina news, Vaughan revealed that within the “Power Down” storyline (set during the NYC blackout of 2003), we will learn more about the mysterious nature of how Hundred got his powers. Regarding future storylines, he said that “we’ve got the Republican Convention coming up,” noting that it will be a big storyline soon. During the Wildstorm panel, Vaughan mentioned that he’s planning a storyline entitled “Ex Cathedra,” to be “about religion, obviously.” With Hank Kanalz, DC VP & Marketing Director moderating the panel, Vaughan went on to say that, “I haven’t pitched it to Wildstorm yet, so if it doesn’t happen, it didn’t get approved.” Kanalz gamely jumped in, saying, “wow, no pressure there, Brian!”

In other Ex Machina news, Vaughan confirmed that the series will end with #50, mentioned that the title is also set up at New Line, and that they’re also “letting” him write that screenplay. He noted that it seems the best way to get Hollywood to let you adapt your own work for the screen is to let them think you don’t want to do it and, since writing screenplays was not a challenge he was particularly looking forward to, naturally, he’s currently working on his second.

In Runaways news, Vaughan says of Joss Whedon’s taking over the reins on the book that, “I’ve read the first three scripts and they’re really annoyingly good” and that with Whedon’s six-issue arc, “Runaways is better than it’s ever been.” Regarding that brevity of that scheduled six-issue arc, Vaughan pointed out that Whedon was only scheduled for one arc on Astonishing X-Men, and look where we are now, so who knows? According to Vaughan, Whedon “keeps saying that Marvel is his midlife crisis,” so we can only hope that the Buffy creator has still got some issues to work out.

Perhaps the most surprising news on the BKV front, however, is that he will be writing an upcoming Midnighter story, because “Garth [Ennis] and Scott Dunbier tricked me into it one drunken night.” Darick Robertson, with whom Vaughan has long wanted to work, handled the art chores, and the book will be a standalone special. Vaughan is proud of the book despite the fact that he “didn’t expect to be.” He went on to say that, “if I’m not proud of it, I leave the ‘K’ out – it’s just by Brian Vaughan … [and] there’s a few of those out there.” His Midnighter special, however, will indeed include the “K.”

Speaking to his new gig as a member of the writing staff on Lost, and particularly regarding the differences between writing for comics and writing for TV, Vaughan joked that “I have to wear pants to my new job. It’s very constraining, and I don’t care for that.” He revealed that he’s completed co-writing his first teleplay for the show, and that we’ll see his name in the credits in just “a couple weeks.”

The best news of the day, however, may have been was hearing Vaughan promise that he will “always be a comics writer who dabbles in TV,” and that he’s “not going to [become] a Hollywood guy.” He stated quite emphatically that “if TV is good, and you get something like The Wire or Battlestar Galactica, it’s in spite of the process. If something in comics is good, it’s because of the process.”

Amen to that.

TIP: Though it’s not yet been posted, the BKV spotlight hour was recorded for a podcast. Keep checking the official NYCC podcast page, and once it’s posted you’ll be able to enjoy the entire presentation.

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