Your New Year’s Resolutions Should Include Reading Saga

Confession time: until just a few weeks ago, I still hadn’t read Saga. I actually bought the first trade paperback of Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples’s award-winning comic ages ago when I had some extra money, but for some reason I had never sat down and actually read it. Well, unemployment has its upsides, and one of those is significantly increased amounts of reading time, so let me tell you a thing:

You should be reading Saga.


Saga is easily one of the greatest comics I’ve ever read. And I mean, I haven’t read a million comics, but I think its Hugo Award and three Eisners kind of back me up in this regard.

saga-2Saga is about Marko and Alana, an interspecies couple, and their hybrid child. They have just one little problem: their two planets (well, a planet and its moon) have been at war with each other for generations, and both sides consider the couple’s newborn daughter Hazel an abomination. Forces from both planets, from soldiers to assassins to royalty, are out to get them; meanwhile, Marko and Alana have more than enough trouble just dealing with a newborn (and vengeful exes, and sitters, and disapproving parents-in-law). A side story revolves around one of the mercenaries sent after them, and his begrudging relationship with do-gooding. It’s epic and fascinating and Fiona Staples’s beautiful art and colors are like a gut punch in the best possible way, if that makes sense.

tumblr_ma1sa3w31x1rpwufmo1_5001I think the thing that I appreciate most about the characters is that they’re people. They have duties in-story and roles to play in the narrative, but they act like real people with weird quirks and internal conflicts. Even Marko and Alana don’t fall into the age-old godawful trap of being parents instead of people; yes, they have a kid, but they don’t lose their personalities because of her. I’m also so happy to see a story about a mother where her ability to give birth is not lauded above every other thing that a cis female has the potential to do, and is not treated as some sort of feminine mystery the way some stories do. (Yes, Doctor Who, I’m looking at you.)

All that said, this series is definitely a grown-up one, and I don’t just mean that there are some cuss words. This comic includes full-frontal nudity, on-panel sex scenes, graphic violence, an ongoing subplot centering on child sex slavery, gore, some character designs that fall easily in the realm of body horror, the fantasy version of racism, and, well, lots of cuss words. If any of these things aren’t your cup of tea, then you might want to give Saga a wide berth after all.


Lookit that, DC—apparently you can be married and not boring!

Despite these things—or possibly because of the comic’s thoughtful handling of them—I consider Saga well worth a read. (Also, did I mention Felicia Day considers it the “best comic EVER”? If that doesn’t sell you, I don’t know what will.) Pick it up and give it a try, and let me know what you think!

PS: Since I’m late to the game I’ve been reading the trades, and for neatness’s sake I’m going to keep doing so. Sadly, though, the next one doesn’t come out till March, so please keep your spoilers for any issues after #13 to yourself in the comments!

9 thoughts on “Your New Year’s Resolutions Should Include Reading Saga

  1. Pingback: Your New Year’s Resolutions Should Include Reading Saga | THE EXTREMIS REVIEW

  2. God, I loved the first issue of Saga and can’t wait to get my hands on more. Your post just made it all the more convincing! Definitely one to read for the New Year 😉

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