Brian K Vaughn, Fiona Staples
Saga is a book I’ve mentioned on this blog roughly a million times. You’d think I’d get tired of talking about it by now, but nope, it’s super great and I wuvs (spelled with the Earth “W”) it a ton. And now that’s it nominated for another bunch of Eisners (Best Continuing Series, Best Writer, and Best Painter and Cover Artist), I’m going to use that an excuse to talk about it again. Also it returns this month, so consider this a nice primer/HYPE piece.
Brian K Vaughn and Fiona Staples‘ Saga, for those of you who continue to ignore my recommendations, is a book about relationships. Relationships that are formed and developed in a Stars Wars meets Romeo and Juliet fantasy mash up. A mash up that has far more profanity and nudity than those previously mentioned work, #BLESSED. Parenting is also a strong theme , something I have no proper experience with yet, and kind of terrifies me, as well as family. The set up is as this: star-crossed (literally) lovers Alan and Marko come from 2 warring factions, bump uglies and create Hazel, our narrator and the cutest comics baby to ever cute to cute. However, all of this is very unacceptable by their respected worlds, which results in TV-headed royalty and and assorted armies/bounty hunters to come after the pair. Also the Lying Cat, who is the best cat in comics, no one denies this. So our heroes have to avoid their captors and try to raise their child. It’s kind of amazing.
So let’s say you’re new to this book, and want to know why it gets all the hype/praise that it does (my summary of the plot is arguably not the best) . First off, this book is gorgeous. Fiona Staples‘ digital paints are second to no one in this business, and what she can convey with her art is fantastic. The world of Saga is home to a large variety of difference races and planets, and Staples draws out of all of them. Her facial expressions, environments and body language are all incredible, and it’s probably due to the fact that this book isn’t drawn like a traditional comic. Vaughn said early on in the series take visual cues more from children’s storybooks than comic book, and it shows in the page layouts, ultimately. In addition from the gorgeous line work, the colors are super sharp, and why I should be advocating you buying print comics, I recently acquired volumes 1 and 2 digitally, and my god. It looks incredible on my iPad, where you can really get a better understanding how of much the colors improve Staples’ work. The space set scenes are arguably the best examples as the bright colors of the cast’s various ships contrast beautifully with the darkness of space.
Speaking of Vaughn, BKV is arguably one of the best writers working in comics. Lord knows I missed him when he focused on writing for TV for awhile, and I’m glad he’s back working in comics. He has a gift for writing dialogue, which is probably the biggest non-visual reason this book is a good as it is. All of the characters sound so believable, dispute the vast majority, if not all of them not evening being human. Whatever scene Vaughn sets out to write, be it romantic, humorous , tragic or action works and works well every single time, which is great for the reader (and terrible/intimating as hell for someone who would like to break into the business one day).
What’s arguably the best book on the market today, it comes as no surprise that Saga has been nominated and won a number of Eisners. If for some reason you’re STILL not reading it, now’s really the time to get caught. There’s 3 volumes out now, and like I said earlier, the series starts up again in 2 weeks, so yeah, get on that.