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Thought Balloon: Saga, Vol.1 Review

Posted October 17, 2012 by Will Fitzgerald in Fantasy


Ramp Rating


Genre: ,
Colourist: Fiona Staples
Letterer: Steven Finch - Fonografiks
Available: 10/10/12


Terrific characters and humour


A single artist allowing for a consistent visual style but resulting in slower publication

From the writer of comics’ masterpiece Y: The Last Man, comes the ‘It’ comic of 2012; a space opera family epic, modestly titled ‘Saga.’

by Will Fitzgerald
Full Article

In the afterword to the first issue of Saga, Brian K. Vaughan writes:

New comic series don’t have fans, they have families, small groups of diverse people who band together to help keep alive some weird thing that matters only to them.

And of course, that’s what this new series is all about: family. Star-crossed lovers Alana and Marko, each from separate, warring species, make a baby together and run away to try and leave the galactic war behind and raise their baby safely. Along the way they must evade their own people, horned magic-wielders and winged stormtroopers, a robot monarchy with seemingly human bodies but TVs for heads, freelance bounty hunters including a giant, sexual spider-lady and an endearing, died-in-the-grey rogue named The Will. If you’re a casual comics reader thinking this might be a bit too esoteric for your tastes, just wait, it gets weirder. But allay your misgivings because Brian K. Vaughan is the man who writes the most genuine, true-to-life characters in comics.

This isn’t a platitude. It goes without saying that a story – any story – hinges on characters we feel for but Vaughan writes with a humanising voice that transcends the page. His characters are all someone you know. He will make you believe that your sarcastic girlfriend or your hipster nerd buddy or even your short-tempered mother and your doddering Dad can be stars of a grand comic book epic. In a medium dominated by the sci-fi and fantasy genre, there are a handful of writers with a voice so unique, they could be picked out of an autonomous writing test. Vaughan’s signature, self-deprecating dialogue has the power to stand out and instantly warm you to his characters, just as his witty one-liners can encapsulate whole characters or themes of a story. And it’s all on display in the pages of Saga.

Continuing the tradition of working with amazing Canadian artists, Fiona Staples is the co-creator of Saga and has taken on the daunting task of pencilling and colouring every issue and painting each of the covers, as well as designing all of the characters and elements of Saga’s new and fantastic universe. There are gaps in the publication dates to allow for such a demanding schedule and Staples delivers in each issue, providing rich background detail where we most want to see it and character close-ups that knock out every one of the comedic beats Vaughan pitches at her. Some of her colouring choices eschew genre conventions and make for more stand-out locales/characters. 

Saga Vol.1 collects the first six issues of the series and is incentively priced at $9.99 USD. This translates to an attractive Irish price that probably varies marginally from store to store but either which way, it’s a bargain for the beginning of the next greatest comic epic.

About the Author

Will Fitzgerald

Film freelancer and comics enthusiast, Will tried to coin the term 'quarter-life crisis' but a younger, more successful twenty-something beat him to it.

  • http://twitter.com/kevmclean Wade W.

    I have this ordered but it is taking it’s awful time getting to me! *shakes fist*

    • http://www.emesq.com/ Colm

      Shouting at the internet is a sure way to make it get here quicker. SHOUT HARDAH BOY!

      • http://twitter.com/kevmclean Kev

        Seems legit. iiiinnnnteeeerrrrrrRRRRNNNNNEEEEEEEEEEEEET!

  • http://www.lisamcinerney.com Lisa McInerney

    I don’t know if it’s wise to actually say this, but Cheekbones Goat Dude is kind of hot.

    • Will Fitzgerald

      Lisa Admirers, take note for Halloween!
      Actually, that would be a kick-ass costume…

  • http://twitter.com/Rachel__Ray Rachel Ray

    Enjoyed it too but same issue – I wana consume my comics same way I now do my tv series – in one exhausting sit-down weekend, back to back. 2 still not available…

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