Posted on: August 15th, 2012 REVIEW: Saga #6
When I first heard about Saga, I wanted to write about it. I didn’t. When the cover art of the first issue was released capturing one of the main characters breastfeeding (causing a handful of people’s heads to explode), I wanted to write something. I did not. When the double-sized first issue came out, I wanted to write about it. I didn’t. Issue after issue went by and I knew I wanted to throw my two cents into the ether. I didn’t. Well here it is! Chapter Six of Saga. Boom.
I am in contact with two very different niches when it comes to the comics community. There’s the group that reads creators’ work. Often times they create comics themselves. They know all about the upcoming books, how they work into current continuity, how the creative teams will change in a few months, etc. Then I talk with the folks that read for characters. They will buy every off-shoot of Batman, because they love Batman. Or they will follow just a handful of books because they grew up with the characters. And like that of a religion, they will pull their books every week and seldom stray from their forged path.
I like both groups of people. They both love comics. They both spend their money in hopes that they will be rewarded with a tale they actually care about. However, their opinions are rarely in compliance. I can tell you, quite honestly, that I have talked to people that genuinely do not like Saga. I am not that person.
Let’s pretend you don’t even know what Saga is. I question the amount of effort you put into your search for entertainment. Saga is an original creator-owned comic under Image Comics by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. It’s the story of two people, from opposing sides of a long-running war, who fell in love and now have a baby. So they’re on the run through space, trying to avoid capture from every side that wants one or more of their family dead. And that is my bastardization of a remarkably intricate plot design.
I write about Saga now because this issue was the fail-safe. If sales did not lead to a promising following, this book would have ended here. So rest-assured, late-adopters, Saga’s not going anywhere for a while. It has gained such a following that I trust we will see our favorite characters and our favorites-yet-to-come for a long time. This book is beautiful. From the art to the story to the character design, you can feel the ownership and pride that Vaughan and Staples take in the telling of Saga. Nothing feels rushed, nothing seems like frivolous filler. It’s well-crafted. I can’t even imagine a world in which you buy comics on a regular basis and have not had somebody tell you to pick this book up.
That being said, let me put forth my defense of those comic readers I mentioned earlier that don’t like Saga. New is scary. I can tell you a story of two star-crossed lovers and it will be nothing you haven’t heard before. A person might even love my story because it makes them feel safe. But I promise you, Saga is not a story you have read before. You haven’t read any of these characters before. And even though they are sculpted in such a manner that they feel so familiar to me, I don’t know what’s going to happen next. I don’t know what their next move will be. And that’s scary. To me, scary in a good way. More of a manifestation of excitement and anticipation. For someone else, it’s work. Ask yourself if DC or Marvel would ever let Batman or Spider-Man do something out of character. There would be rioting in the back issue section of every comic shop across the world. It wouldn’t fly. Nor should it-those are trusted brands that people stay very loyal to. They don’t read those characters to be surprised.
Another reason I’m given for the soured opinion of Saga is the subject matter. For instance, my mother would not be super excited to read this book. Perhaps an entire world devoted to sexual gratification through deviance and fetishism would not appeal to all types of readers. A lot of readers, sure. But not all. And I have heard some people that have read Saga and stopped in their tracks to say, “Wait. What? Can they do this?”
Yes they can. Yes they do. And no, the world is not coming to an end because of it. Despite Chapter Six technically being the story’s fail-safe, there is nothing safe about Saga. BKV and Fiona Staples have pulled out every stop. They aren’t trying to appeal to the larger population of readers, they’re just telling a story that I truly believe they want to tell. Such leaves me with the desire to read it. I love this book. I’m thrilled that so many people out there love it to. I adore their letters column. I devour every editorial snippet in these issues. There’s so much heart thrown into Saga, I can’t help but love it. Yes, I understand why some don’t, but God bless them for trying it out. The only thing worse than being scared of something new, is running away from something new. Thank you to all of you that have stood alongside this book with me. I’m so glad it exists.
Saga: Volume One will collect these past six chapters and be available for purchase in October. And issue six would lead me believe that will cost you a whopping $9.99. Seriously? I’ll even buy it for 10 bucks and I already have these issues. Also, we’re going to be Saga-less for a couple months. Plenty of time for any of you Johnny-Come-Lately’s to pick it up.