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Saga, Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples {3.5 Stars}

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and drawn by Fiona Staples is a graphic novel I’ve been hearing about for a long time and comes up pretty much whenever I say that I should really start reading comics, what’s a good speculative fic one to start with? I’m so glad I finally got on this band wagon! In hindsight I should really have requested more from the library all at once, but you know how these things go ;-).

Note: This is my first time reviewing a graphic novel, bear with me!

Saga, Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples {3.5 Stars}

Saga, Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples (Saga #1)
Published by Image Comics on Oct. 23rd, 2012
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Sci-fi
Page Length: 160 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
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When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.

From bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan, Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults.

3.5 Stars

Strengths:

  • Obviously I haven’t read many comics (cough, any, cough), but Saga seemed like a really unique world to this newb! Unless graphic novels tend to be way more extreme than non-graphic novels, Saga is filled with a crazy imaginative mix of fantasy and sci-fi elements and I can’t wait to find out every detail about this galaxy.
  • The cover of Saga, Volume 1 really tells you all you need to know about Alana: she’s not afraid to breast-feed with one hand and carry her gun in the other. She is a kick-ass mother who would really like people to leave her alone so she can raise her kid in peace, but if that’s not an option, she’ll deal with you. You don’t see a lot of mother heroines in speculative fiction, so it was great to get to know Alana.
  • The art of Saga is gorgeous. A lot of the reason that I was hesitant to get into comics is that a lot of the artistic styles just don’t appeal to me and I’m not a fan of black-and-white art generally. Saga is full color and of a style that I really love. There are a lot of images that would make amazing wall art, I’m just saying.
  • This first volume is basically non-stop action right from the start. This poor kid does not have an easy start in life, but you will have no problem reading through the whole first volume in an afternoon, so don’t make the same mistake I did: get multiple volumes at once!

Weaknesses:

  • Saga has some really freaking strong language. I swear a lot (you wouldn’t know from the blog, I know, but trust me, in person I’m a sailor), but Saga had language that even made me cringe a bit. Pretty much no cuss word is off limits, so be prepared.
  • I was honestly not expecting Saga to be quite so creepy. If you have a fear of spiders, be prepared. The spider and the ghost are a toss up for me which I wanted to hide from most….
  • Again, I was not expecting the amount of graphic violence and graphic sex and implied underage sex slaves. And since it’s a graphic novel, emphasis on the graphic part…. Maybe don’t plan to read this in public or around children?

Summary:

Saga is a great introduction to speculative graphic novels as long as you’re okay with R-rated content and a lot of it. I’m really excited to continue discovering these worlds and find out more about the various species that occupy them. A lot is set up in Volume 1 that will keep you hooked as you crave answers ;-). Just get all the volumes you can at once to spare yourself pain.

What speculative graphic novels should I read next??? I need your recommendations!

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya

 

 Saga, Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

© 2015, Anya. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. I was really shocked by some of the language (the slut shaming!) and the underage sex really rubbed me the wrong way. However, I ADORED Alana. She is seriously just one of my favorite literary women. Confessing that she loves the own taste of her breast milk? I LOVE it.
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Garden Gazette: November Wrap UpMy Profile

    • Yeah, I don’t mind f-bombs, but the c-word really bothers me…. Haha, now I want to try my breast milk when I have the opportunity…

  2. I’ve read lots of rave reviews of this book and have definitely heard about the language, which I don’t think will bother me, but who knows. I don’t remember anyone mentioning the graphic sex though and that does make me less excited about picking this up. I find tough things much harder to deal with in movies than in books, so I think graphic novels might also be particularly hard for me.
    Katie @ Doing Dewey recently posted…#NFBookClub December PollMy Profile

  3. I need to give Saga another try. I keep hearing good things about it, but it didn’t grab me when I picked it up once.

    Other graphic novel recommendations; all of these are excellent:

    ElfQuest: An oldie but goodie. Originally B&W, but the GNs are color. The original graphic novels have better color than the current versions, but those are decades out of print. I advise stopping after the original story ends in volume 4.

    Bone: I can only describe this as ‘what if Walt Kelly wrote epic fantasy’. Originally B&W, but the current GNs are color. I just have (wonderful!) original versions, so I don’t know how the color came out.

    Zot!: A fun retro-SF adventure that then goes off into some deeper subjects. The first storyline was in color, and then it went B&W (which coincided with a shift in tone). I’m not sure if these are currently available anywhere.

    Understanding Comics: A very smart look at the comics medium in the form of a graphic novel. B&W

    Castle Waiting: One of the best continuing fantasy series out there. B&W

    Age of Bronze: The entire story of the Trojan War, including a lot of the encrustations added in later centuries, done with a lot of historical research as well. B&W

    Bureau of Mana Investigation: I’m a bit biased here. But it’s a very good story set in a fantasy world that’s grown up to modern technology. B&W

    Anything by Will Eisner. There’s a reason why the awards are named after him.
    Rindis recently posted…The Battle of ChickamaugaMy Profile

  4. I’ve recently read my first comic book compilation too! I went with Fables because I got the first volume for my birthday and it was great fun! It’s about fairytale characters trapped in modern day New York and it’s so good so I’ll definitely be carrying on with the series and recommending it. I’ve seen Saga mentioned all over and I’m not fussy about more adult content so I think I’ll give it a try as my next series :)
    Charlotte @ Lit Addicted Brit recently posted…Review: ‘Into the Wild’ by Jon KrakauerMy Profile

  5. I love this series, but I am not the least bit bothered by graphic-ness. That said, I do get it from my library instead of purchasing because I don’t know what it might do to a 12 year old boy’s psyche to find his mother reading it.
    Lisa (@TenaciousReader) recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday – Fellside by M. R. CareyMy Profile

    • HAHA, yeah, that could make for awkward conversations ;-). I’m getting all mine from the library too since I’d feel awkward if anyone exploring my shelves found those

  6. I’ve not read any graphic novels yet, and had been thinking this might be a good place to start for me. However, I’m awfully glad you reviewed it before I got ahold of it because those three weaknesses you have listed are all majorly not for me. Really, any time I hear mentions of spiders in books, I start putting a lot of distance between me and that book. Glad you liked it though, and glad I was warned. Thanks for the review!
    Amy @ Pages of Starlight recently posted…Review: The Assassin’s Salvation by Ruby LionsdrakeMy Profile

  7. I finally read this yesterday! I pretty much agree with your review, except I also thought Marko was adorable as a character and was impressed with how three-dimensional all the characters came across considering there isn’t much in the way of descriptions and insight into their thoughts like in regular books. (It was also my first graphic novel, so I didn’t know what to expect.) It was definitely R-rated, but I didn’t mind that. I was prepared since you had warned me, haha.
    Kristen Burns recently posted…4 Star Book Review: The Bane (The Eden Trilogy Book 1) by Keary TaylorMy Profile

    • Yey, I’m glad my warning was useful ;-). Marko is great! I’ve got through all five volumes now and the character development is great!

  8. I just bought this recently but haven’t had time to get to it. I’m going to read it soon. I love the artwork as well, and I’ve read some really great reviews. I’m not usually squeamish when it comes to strong language but we’ll see…
    Tammy @Books, Bones & Buffy recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday [173] – WHERE FUTURES END by Parker PeevyhouseMy Profile

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