First Impressions: SAGA


Hello, Loyal Readers!

I’ve got another graphic novel for ya—might have to start making this a feature…

 

The Book

SAGA by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples is a currently running comic book series about a sci-fi/fantasy war (literally: one side uses magic and one side uses ray-guns) raging across the galaxy and one family trying to escape it. Not sure I’m sold yet on the whole “Trigger Warning” thing but just so y’all know, being a story about war, there are “adult situations” like:

Naughty-Words

Shooty-Guns

Cutty-Swords

Bloody-Guts

Witchy-Crafts

Nudie-Parts

and Hardcore Fucking.

Amid all these things there is also love, joy, and laughter—it really is a family tale. 

 

Why I Picked It Up

I saw a $1 reprint of issue #1 at my local comic store and I thought the cover was a little atypical for a comic—as you can see—so I opened it up and I was instantly hooked.

 

What I Like About It

For starters—and this is the single biggest criteria I have for graphic stories—the pictures could stand alone to tell the story (Will Eisner was a proponent of this rule, if he wasn’t the originator). Some “graphic novels” are just a bunch of talking heads interspersed amongst splatterings of text. Not so with SAGA. You could cut out all the text or speak a different language and still get significant enjoyment out of this book.

The art is my next big “like.” Always crisp, colorful, and literally fantastic—I love the Alligator Butler.

But really, SAGA fires on all cylinders—the plot’s solid, the characters are fully fleshed, and the story is well told through a likeable narrator.

 

What Could Be Better, If Anything

I have very little to say in this section.

The narration has a few time-skips which threw me once or twice and the pacing could be a little slower, but those are trifles and the natural drawbacks to this “flashback” narrative style.

Being a still-running series, it’s far from over, so there is always time for some things to go wrong, but the competence with which Staples and Vaughn pulled off this first bit gives me faith that it’ll only get better.

 

They’re up to issue #22 and I’ve read all three trade paperbacks so far. So, I’m grabbing a subscription!

 

Have you read (or written) SAGA or any other badass graphic novels? Leave a comment and tell us what you think about them!

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