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SYFY WIRE New York Comic Con 2021

Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra surprise fans of Hulu's 'Y: The Last Man' at NYCC 2021

By Josh Weiss
Y The Last Man

FX on Hulu didn't monkey around during the panel for Y: The Last Man's at New York Comic Con Saturday evening. In addition to a special screening of the show's next episode (entitled "My Mother Saw a Monkey"), the event also featured a conversation with showrunner/writer/executive producer Eliza Clark and several members of the principal cast, including Ben Schnetzer who plays Yorick Brown, the titular last man on Earth after all other humans with a Y chromosome start dropping dead.

Even Brian K. Vaughan (co-creator of the comic upon which the series is based) took to the stage in a surprise appearance. "I cannot believe how excellent this show is," he said, taking a seat next to Clark. "To say that it elevates the source material is such an understatement. I just think you transformed it and I remain proud of the comic, even though I was a dopey little kid when I wrote it. But I was so grateful to have [artist] Pia Guerra there at my side. This is a really collaborative art-form."

While Guerra couldn't attend the panel in person, she did show up via a brief video message from Vancouver.

"I'm so sorry I can't be at New York Comic Con this weekend. But hopefully, in the future, there will come a time where I'll get to see y'all again," she said. "I just want to say a big love and a big hello to everyone involved in the show who are here today. You are doing a fantastic job of bringing this show to life, finally, after so many years. It's incredible every week [and] it's just a huge honor to be able to see all these characters come to life."

To celebrate the first physical edition of NYCC since the pandemic began last year, Guerra illustrated an exclusive poster that was given out to attendees as they left the panel.

After losing a pair of showrunners and its leading man along the way, the project faced yet another delay in the form of the COVID-19 health crisis. Principal photography was just two weeks away from kicking off when the world suddenly went into lockdown. Over the next few months, Clark and her creative team began to wonder if the pandemic should factor into the already post-apocalyptic narrative (based on the comic of the same name by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra).

"I don't really want to watch a show about a pandemic," Clark admitted. "I'm grateful that this is about an event and the period of time after it and not an ongoing onslaught of death. But I think COVID made us very close, the group of people on this stage. It was an incredibly unique shooting experience because we basically only had each other."

Since everyone was stuck at home, Clark began a film-watching club in an effort to hone in on what she referred to as "the female gaze." This was essential for a narrative set against the backdrop of a female-led world and as such, almost all of the production's department heads were women.

"We wanted to photograph people differently, and particularly women, than they have been photographed [before]," the showrunner added. "We did a movie club with the producers, our designers, and our cinematographers. We suggested movies and then we would watch them and talk about them and talk about how those would translate into our show or how we wanted to avoid it. We watched things from Children of Men, to I May Destroy You, to Thelma & Louise. Ultimately, what we decided what the female gaze was, was subjectivity, point-of-view, and detail. You see the roots of hair, you're seeing skin, sweat, dirt under fingernails. Each scene is shot from somebody's point-of-view, so that you feel like you're inside of it."

Episode 6 of Y: The Last Man's debut season exclusively premieres on FX on Hulu this coming Monday (Oct. 11). If you're a newcomer to the series and aren't sure where to begin, click here for SYFY WIRE's guide on everything you need to know.

Click here for SYFY WIRE’s full coverage of New York Comic Con 2021.