Saga is the brainchild of comic book writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Fiona Staples. It is a fantasy/science fiction drama that would appeal to fans of Star Wars and Romeo and Juliet. The story revolves around an intergalactic war raging between two alien races, the Wings and the Horns, and two star-crossed lovers who get caught in the middle of it.
Alana (who has wings) and Marko (who has horns) meet as a prisoner and a guard at a prison camp. The two of them form an immediate bond and decide to run away together within 12 hours of meeting each other. Alana and Marko get married and turn their backs on the war and their people and go into hiding.
When Alana becomes pregnant all the two of them want to do is find a safe corner of the universe to raise their family in. This proves difficult when word of their relationship gets back to Wreath (Marko's home planet) and Landfall (Alana's home planet). Alana and Marko are labelled as traitors and bounty hunters are sent after them.
The Wings want them dead but the Horns want them and their child alive. Saga opens with the birth of their child Hazel who also narrates the series and shares her thoughts on her childhood and her parent's relationship from her perspective of an adult.
Saga: Book One was published in November 2014 and is a large handsome hardback book spanning over 500 pages. It contains chapters one through to eighteen of the comic and its pages are filled with glossy and colourful illustrations.
Its front cover caused a bit of a stir when it was unveiled at the San Diego Comic-Con in 2014 because it features Hazel being breast fed on it. The reason why Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples decided to use that image as the cover was because when the first volume of Saga came out some people complained because it featured a much more modest picture of Alana breast feeding Hazel on it. The criticism annoyed the pair which is why they decided to go with the close-up image of Hazel feeding for the hardback book. I think it's lovely!
Saga: Book One is the first hardback collected version of the comic. Many more are planned a bit further down the track with Brian Vaughan promising that each book will feature a front cover image of Hazel in a different stage of her life.
The first issue of Saga was published in 2012 and since then it has gone on to achieve widespread critical acclaim. It is one of the most popular graphic novels currently being published outselling even the successful Walking Dead series. The series has been called "Unflimable and Brilliantly Bonkers" by critics who praised Brian and Fiona for injecting a fresh dose of originality into the science fiction genre.
Saga is one of the weirdest, craziest, and most imaginative comics I have ever read. Brian and Fiona are unafraid to offend touching on everything from graphic sex scenes to childbirth to breast feeding to death and carnage and everything in between.
There are aliens who have televisions for heads and a rocket ship that is a tree and a cat that can tell when people are lying. It is just so strange. But that's what makes it great. The thing I love most about this comic is how unpredictable it can be and how the authors are unafraid to be raw, honest and well…rude.
I was introduced to Saga whilst shopping in the city with my baby. I stepped into the Perth Comic Centre and asked the woman behind the desk if she could recommend something to me and the first thing she showed me was Saga. When she handed me the book and showed me this page I had to smile. I was instantly hooked. I wanted to read more.
What's interesting about Saga is the decision on Brian's part to keep it strictly limited to the medium of a comic book. He has no intention of turning it into a film or a TV series. He even told the Hollywood Reporter that he wanted to create something that was too expensive to be on TV and too dirty to ever become a film.
Saga: Book One will make a great addition to any graphic novel collection. It is a beautiful book filled with pages that you will make you laugh and gasp and maybe blush a little. Brian's snap crackle story coupled with Fiona's illustrations make for a comic that you will not be able to put down.