***Hi Fellowship! Let me introduce myself, name's Patrick. I'm Berkeley's partner who has no rules and prefers bourbon to gin. Regardless, I'll be doing a weekly column here on G&T solely dedicated to comics and graphic novels. I've been reading comic books since I was little with Calvin and Hobbes and Archie. Nowadays comics are so easily accessible there simply isn't enough time to read them all.
I'll be doing this column every Tuesday showcasing the comics i'm currently reading and maybe some fan favorites. Per the website it'll mostly stay within the fantasy/sci-fi realm. However, i'm not going to put myself in a box if something else pops up.
Hope you all enjoy this and make sure to look out for my reviews! Happy reading!***
Back to your scheduled programming
This was the first comic presented to me when I decided to get into graphic novels again. I have since purchased every single volume and am an avid fan of another of the author's series, "Y: The Last Man" (review of that will be up in a couple weeks).
Hints of: Star Wars, Romeo and Juliet
Warning: If increasingly strange and sci-fi concepts weird you out, this is SO not your comic. Also, would only recommend for adults as there is nudity and language throughout.
Two lovers from long-warring extraterrestrial races, Alana and Marko, fleeing authorities from both sides of a galactic war as they struggle to care for their newborn daughter, Hazel, who occasionally narrates the series.
I think I'll probably focus on general synopsis and really more a teaser to the comic than a full blown review. I'll tell some of my personal anecdotes about how I felt reading it and then end with some shots from the actual comic. Sound good? Great.
Imagine this. Its Cold War times and you and your significant other have a child. It would be a joyous occasion if only your significant other wasn't from the other regime.
Saga is this but flung across the galaxy. Its Star Wars without the force, its Romeo and Juliet with wings and horns. Its full blown fantasy overload.
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*ahem* Sorry about that folks. Like I was saying this comic is JAM PACKED with fantasy and sci-fi tropes. It twists and turns from page one and you simply wont be able to put it down. There are multiple story lines to follow and the way Vaughan seamlessly ties them all together to create this epic is fascinating. From the journalist investigating a royal cover-up, to the author of a sex novel that is definitely about more than just sex. Saga has everything you could want and more.
Hazel, the daughter, occasionally narrates the story. She's telling it from the perspective of a previous event so she's all knowing about what will happen and teases the reader in things she knows that the reader hasn't gotten to yet. Its hilarious and pushes you to continue. It starts with her birth and gets off and running straight from there. You see, Alana and Marko, her parents, are from differing sides of a generations long war between a planet and its moon. The concept of these two reproducing wasn't ever thought of and many believed the two races could not reproduce. The two sides rarely fight on each other's globes, recruiting far away systems to proxy their battles. (Sound familiar? Yea, I know.) One recruit in particular is a planet of computer headed creatures that serve Alana's people. The royal family that oversees these people are paid handsomely for their service and for allowing its subjects to fight. If word got out about the birth of a child between the two sides, the war would stop. Money would dry up. The way of life for much of the galaxy would change. Two journalists are sniffing around though and are close to cracking the case. Lets hope the bounty hunter hired by the royal family doesn't get to them first. That is, if he can ever shake the memory of his ex lover, the half woman/half spider huntress that haunts his mind during his hallucinations.
Like I said. Sci-fi/fantasy overload.
While reading it there were times I thought "No way could this get any crazier" and sure enough here comes a quest to capture the sperm of a male Dragon on a far away planet as an ingredient in a spell that will save Marko from dying. But its fun! Every weird, random turn that stretches your imagination of what can possibly be fantasy is exciting. I think my only advice to a reader would be to open your mind to some really crazy stuff.
There's also so much in Saga that applies to the real world. Forbidden love, proxy wars, LGBT rights, the wealth gap. What is always so fascinating to me about fantasy/sci-fi novels is how you can both escape the harshness of reality while still being informed about real issues. Saga does this extremely well with a ton of diverse story lines from the perspective of real world disenfranchised groups.
Finally, the artistry by Fiona Staples in this novel is some of the most colorful and intricate art I've ever seen in a comic. Staples has done work on a multitude of projects but her art in Saga is some of her best. Its simplistic enough to not overbear the reader but unique enough that you know you're reading a fantasy comic. Just check out some of these characters from the story.
As you can tell from this review I seriously love this series. That's why I gave it 5 stars. I wont be doing drink pairings for any of my comic reviews. BUT if I did it'd probably be...wait wait, i'm being informed I MUST do a drink pairing...Got it.
Drink Pairing: A shot of tequila with a Quaalude. Your move, Berkeley.