Adult Award-Winning Books Comic Mania Genre graphic novel Lifespan of a Reader Reading Themes Speculative Fiction, Scifi, Fantasy

Preliminary Impressions of Saga by Vaughan and Staples

Musings on Volumes 1-3 of Saga.

Myra here.

Saga Book One (Volumes 1-3) [Amazon | Book Depository]

Created by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Published by Image Comics (2014)
ISBN: 1632150786 (ISBN13: 9781632150783). Bought a copy of the book. Book photos taken by me.

Two months back, I made a List of 10 Comic Books I wish to feature for our current reading theme – and these three volumes (which make up Book 1) made the cut. I realize that I am several years too late to the Saga party – but I maintain that books find you when you are ready for them. I am just thrilled that I am finally able to experience this strange, surreal, fantastical world for the first time.

The premise is fairly straightforward and may even be considered trite by others. Yet, Vaughan and Staples have proven through this series that it isn’t so much the trope of star-crossed lovers that carries the story forward, but how it is repackaged in a credible and contemporary way; if inter-species, inter-galactic love affair between warring forces can be considered contemporary. Worse than the illicit, taboo, ok, forbidden romance ala-nighttime-smoke of Alana (the winged one) and Marko (the horned one) is the fact that they had the temerity to produce an offspring – a baby named Hazel.

I wouldn’t even deign to do a full-length traditional review of the story – because we don’t do that here in GatheringBooks – but allow me to just highlight some of the things that worked for me: (1) The Dialogue – such biting wit that made me laugh out loud in all its unapologetic irreverence; or narrated lines by Hazel that made me think; the bad-ass exchanges and mind games played by all the other characters (even the minor ones), it’s simply award-worthy.

(2) The Full-Bodied Flawed and Totally Unforgettable Characters. While the entire graphic novel is what one would call plot-driven, it is also peopled by beings who are achingly real and beautiful and geeky and thoughtful. See my favourite below:

Alright, I know I am gushing, but what can be done? That is how it is.

(3) The art. There is nothing too obscene or too pornographic for these two creators since they simply just relish smashing all expectations or all veneers of acceptability into smithereens, because truth be told, they just couldn’t be bothered. That being said, I am issuing a huge parental warning alert here, the series is definitely not for the faint of heart, and meant for mature audiences (how you define mature, I leave it to your judgment). I did share this with my 18 year old girl who gave the first book back to me, and told me that it isn’t for her. She said it was too graphic for her taste. I think the inappropriate gene skips a generation; it clearly lodged its way firmly into mine and skipped hers. Truth be told, my girl just isn’t very much into sci-fi or spec-fic or inter-galactic romances.

I thought I better write my musings immediately before I begin reading Book 2. I have read various reviews that the last book would gut me. I am so ready for it.

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

1 comment on “Preliminary Impressions of Saga by Vaughan and Staples

  1. Pingback: [Monday Reading] Saga’s Ending – Gathering Books

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