Saga, Vol. 1

In honor of it winning the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story, I thought I’d go ahead and take a look at Saga: Volume 1 this week on the Kirkus Blog.

From the post:

From the mind of Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man) and illustrated by Fiona Staples (Mystery Society, North 40), Saga: Volume 1 (978-1607066019) tells the tale of two star-crossed lovers out to leave their past behind and start a new life together.  Alana is a winged-being from the world known as Landfall.  Her world is at war with the inhabitants of their moon, called Wreath.  Drafted to fight in that war, Alana eventually found herself working as a prison guard where she met Marko.  Born of Wreath, Marko, too, was a soldier.  His race has horns and can wield magic, whereas the people of Landfall are technologically superior.  Somehow, the two fell in love and decided to desert their respective armies and build a new life together.  That new life is complicated by the arrival of Hazel, their child, who represents something neither side of the war thought possible; genetic compatibility.

Click on over to the Kirkus Blog to read the rest of my review.

Words and Pictures: Saga

Before I even laid eyes on the first collected edition of Saga, by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples, I had it pegged as a certain nominee for and potential winner of the 2013 Best Graphic Story Hugo. The online comics commentariat had greeted the series rapturously. The internet was awash with folks calling it the best sf comic of 2012, and there were plenty calling it the best comic of any kind.

I already knew Brian K Vaughan has some remarkable technical gifts as a comics writer, and therefore pretty much believed the hype. I was prepared to be entirely blown away by Saga. When I did read it, though, I was not blown away. I liked it well enough, but was not struck dumb by its awesomeness.

Then I thought about it for a bit, I read it again, and – belatedly – I got it. Saga is very good, just not in quite the dramatic ways I was half-expecting. It’s not wildly innovative in technique or narrative; it’s not a revolutionary statement of new possibilities for comics.  Rather, its goodness – perhaps even greatness – is of the comparatively quiet, unshowy sort, making the difficult and sophisticated look simple and effortless (and thus, perhaps, invisible).  It’s all about the craft, this one.
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