Sorry Star Wars, you are good, but you do have 3 BIG blemishes on your resume: The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith (to a lesser extent).
If you haven’t had the chance to pick up and read Saga from Image Comics, you need to stop reading this post and go and get it. Well, maybe not stop reading this post, but once you finish it, go out and get it.
I started reading it a few years ago on the recommendation of my local comic shop. I guess it wouldn’t be local anymore considering I moved 1400 kms away from it, but it was local at the time.
Anyways, Saga has everything a reader could want.
- Action – Check
- Humor – Check
- Beautiful Art – Check
- Amazing Storyline – Check
- Canadian Artist – Check
- Acclaimed Writer – Check
Saga is the story of two lovers who stand on opposing sides of a war. They, by some miracle, fall in love and have a baby. What makes this story stand out from the others like it is the story is partially told from the perspective of the baby. I know, I know. That doesn’t sound that interesting, but I assure you it is. At one point, I remember giving myself a palm slap to the forehead as I couldn’t believe what I had just read.
This story had me laughing hysterically on more than one occasion.
Without giving up too much, there is a scene when the Grandmother to the baby is questioning whether or not the female protagonist (Alana) is praying in front of her husband (Marko) or, well, you can use your imagination.
The character development might be the best ever
The character development is spot on. From the onset of the first page, I felt deeply connected with the characters, main and not, in the book. I felt compelled to care for them as if I knew them. Brian K. Vaughn made it incredibly easy to relate to their story. It felt as though I had a front row seat to their lives and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t turn away. What makes the story completely fathomable is that any person could end up in their situation given the state of the world we live in.
As each character is introduced, you can’t help but wonder what will happen to them. Will they be pulled into the wackiness that has unfolded in the main storyline or will they have an adventure of their own?
There are so many amazing characters, that as I read it, I couldn’t help but wonder:
- Is there/will there be a spin-off in future
- When will the television adaption come out
- Why hadn’t I read this earlier
So why is Saga different from other “mainstream” titles on the market?
It isn’t as though it is only different, Saga, blatantly does what other comics can’t. If you look at a title like, let’s say, Superman or something lesser known like Quicksilver, as the writer you have to ensure that what you are writing/creating coincides with what is already written. Not just that but if you decide that your story does not/can’t follow the regular timeline, you have to create an arc that explains this or retcon the history of the character.
This is where Saga shines. There is no backstory, history or stories about its universe or characters. Vaughn has cart-blanch to do what he wants and how he wants.
And the art…oh the art.
As a Fine Arts major, I have an appreciation for good art. Well, I suppose you don’t have to be a Fine Arts major to have this appreciation, but I like the way it sounds.
Fiona Staples, by far one the most amazing artists out there, does an incredible job of bringing Vaughn’s characters to life. Her bright, splashy pages will immediately grab your eye’s attention while leading it around the page exactly how she wants it.
As I continue to read the book, I get the impression that Staples has no problem taking on the challenges of bringing the characters to life. Believe me, it wouldn’t be easy.
Is Saga for everyone?
Probably not, and it pains me to admit that. If you don’t like well-written stories, beautiful art, humor or action, you should probably go back to living under your rock and leave Saga to the rest of us.
If you haven’t read an issue of Saga or are the slightest bit interested in reading it go over to Amazon and pick up your copy. Once finished, email me at [email protected] and tell me how right I was.