Maybe you’ve read Y: The Last Man, and you’ve almost certainly heard of LOST (that TV show about the polar bears on the island full of magnets and disappointing endings?). Marvel’s Runaways was amazing, and Ex Machina was brilliant. Well, Brian K. Vaughan’s latest work is Saga, published by Image Comics, and for some reason you’re probably not reading it.
Vaughan has teamed up with artist Fiona Staples, who was mostly known for her cover art before Saga. They are a magnificent team. Everything that I consider to be an important part of the medium is there and executed perfectly: art, layout, dialogue, story, and a little bit of edginess.
Saga, explained very simply, is about the opposite of war and trying to define what that is. It’s not love, but it just might have something to do with making babies. That might make this book sound smutty, and I don’t want to give you the wrong idea; Saga isn’t smutty. Sure, there are a few exposed nipples (mostly due to feeding a baby) and some sex, but it’s not pornographic in the slightest.
If I was to draw a Venn diagram for Saga, it would be somewhere in the middle of science fiction, fantasy, and Gone with the Wind. It’s both sci-fi and fantasy in that Star Wars way that it has nothing to do with Earth or humans, takes place in space, and is in a time that doesn’t really matter but seems futuristic to us. There exists magic, spaceships, ghosts, bounty hunters, and it’s absolutely unfilmable.
You can quote me on that: You’ll never see a Saga movie. It will never happen, which is all the more reason you should pick up the new deluxe hardcover that just came out. It covers the first 18 issues, plus sketches, details on Staples’ digital art process, fan letters, and a full script. The insight into the creative process was my favorite bit of the extras; it’s amazing to see what goes into this book.
Saga will some day be a book that everyone will read—a classic like Sandman, Preacher, or Transmetropolitan. It’s the first book I’d lend to someone who says, “I don’t really like comics”, to prove them wrong. It’s the book I’d lend to my mom, brother, coworker, but maybe not a prudish grandmother. It’s the best book you’re not reading, and if anyone says otherwise, a blue space feline would call them out as “Lying.”