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Saga - Deluxe Edition, Book One

de Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples (Artist)

Séries: Saga (1-18)

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5092236,301 (4.51)8
"Saga is the story of Hazel, a child born to star-crossed parents from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war. Now, Hazel's fugitive family must risk everything to find a peaceful future in a harsh universe that values destruction" --Amazon.com.
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Above: A commission of Alana from Saga that I painted for a client a few years back... One of the strengths of this series is its fun character designs.

Saga takes place in an anything-goes universe where magic and technology coexist, there are seemingly dozens if not hundreds of intelligent species (including winged, horned, and TV-headed, to name just a few) and, to put it broadly, pretty much anything can happen.

This "anything-goes" ethos is both Saga's greatest strength and its biggest weakness. On the positive side, Vaughan and Staples have created a wild and wooly universe that feels like it was lifted straight from a place of pure child-like imagination (Vaughan has mentioned that he began creating this universe when he was a child) and then mixed up throughly with a very adult interest in sex and the anxiety of parenthood.

In particular, Fiona Staples' art revels in the extraordinary freedom this universe permits her, and overall I would say that Saga's greatest appeal lies in her often loose and elegant depictions of insane creatures, characters, and situations. This long volume (collecting the first 18 issues of the series) is full of great, memorable, and weird images: A pair of quite friendly prostitutes who are depicted as giant heads perched on fishnet-stockinged legs; a topless, semi-arachnoid bounty hunter; a wounded robot soldier on the battlefield, his TV-screen head flashing explicit porn; and much, much more... It's a lot of fun to see what's coming next. As mentioned above, Saga is also not afraid to tackle sexuality very directly, with a real sense of playful energy and silliness. The book has a fundamentally libertine attitude to sexuality and the power of desire to be a genuinely revolutionary force for good in the universe.

The bad side of this "anything can happen" approach is that literally "anything can happen." There is rarely a sense that this universe operates by any sense of rules, order, or logic. Political and economic ideas are introduced and tossed aside ad-hoc. Characters fall in and out of love at the drop off a hat. Key moments in the plot often hinge on some special requirement being met by the characters, but the reader never knows what these conditions will be in advance, and the problems are almost always resolved immediately, so there is no sense of pay-off or stakes (the number of times the characters problems is some variation of "Spell X requires component Y, oh here is component Y" is pretty surprising). In some ways this semi-improvisational seeming approach seems to make sense, given that the characters are on the run for most of this book, making things up as they go and dealing with problems as they appear. It also ties in nicely with some of the storybook themes at work here, many times the story seems like it’s the product of a parent riffing as they weave a bedtime story for their child. There is a lot of fun to be had there, but it also undercuts the potential for a bigger narrative payoff.

Perhaps some of these problems are resolved later in the series, but 18 issues in it was leaving me a bit flat. That said, I can understand why this series is so inspiring for readers... Despite the mature elements in the book, this book is full of pure and joyful imagination and creativity. ( )
  francoisvigneault | May 17, 2021 |
Absolutely awesome!

I'm gonna start by saying that I CANNOT WAIT TO GET MY HANDS ON BOOK 2!!! I loved this book so much! It pulled no punches, kept me in suspense, made me laugh and left me needing more! I loved the extra sketches at the end as well... they were a brilliant bonus when I found them. I will be reading the rest of this series at the first given opportunity! ( )
  TCLinrow | Mar 17, 2021 |
Absolutely awesome!

I'm gonna start by saying that I CANNOT WAIT TO GET MY HANDS ON BOOK 2!!! I loved this book so much! It pulled no punches, kept me in suspense, made me laugh and left me needing more! I loved the extra sketches at the end as well... they were a brilliant bonus when I found them. I will be reading the rest of this series at the first given opportunity! ( )
  TCLinrow | Mar 17, 2021 |
It was entertaining, at times funny, and creative, sure, but I don't think I will whip out another 38 euros for the next hardcover volume. Why not?

One. The universe this story is set in is haphazard, and relies more on visual oomph or the occasional smart, funny or creepy idea, instead of internal consistency or necessity. Vaughan has created himself a universe that gives him absolute freedom as a writer, and that's too much power for anyone to handle. As anything can happen, in the end, nothing really matters - you know the author can outsmart the mess he might have written himself in any time by introducing yet another testicle giant, a magical wooden space ship, flying sharks or a teenage ghost without a vagina.

Two. The writing itself suffers from the comic book format, becoming a predictable formula that ends with a cliffhanger every chapter. It may work in a once a month dosage, but collected in a tome like this, it became rote about halfway through.

Three. In the final 5 chapters it dawned on me the two main adult characters continue to be their immature self. As Katelyn Sherman noted: "The horned husband pushes his winged wife and newborn baby off a tower because he secretly knew she could fly even though she didn't think she could and never had before? And then he talks with his ex girlfriend about their relationship and how sorry he is before the wife does indeed come flying back to shoot the ex girlfriend? Ridiculous."

Four. The visuals are nice - she sure can draw emotions - but at the same time you see Fiona Staples only gets a month for each issue/chapter. The potential is there, but it's a rush job. It's all digital, resulting in overall flat textures - it's too clean & sterile for my tastes. Most importantly: there simply is not enough variation in her artistic choices, making it - structurally - repetitive.

Five. The series isn't finished. 54 comics published at the moment I write this, we are only halfway: 54 have yet to be written, but Vaughan & Staples are on a hiatus to get the creative juices flowing again. In the end - if it ever happens - we should end up with 6 of these hardcover volumes in total. That's about 230 euros in total for what is - all things considered - pulp fiction, and I'm not committing to that.

I might borrow book 2 if I ever get the chance, to see if the series redeems itself, but I don't have high hopes.

ps - the 40 pages at the end of this specific volume are a 'making of', and it's really interesting, a must read for any serious fan.

More reviews on Weighing A Pig ( )
  bormgans | Sep 5, 2020 |
The dialogue is fantastic, the characters are trippy and imaginative, and I love Lying Cat so much. Totally hooked on this. ( )
  djshiva | Feb 7, 2020 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Vaughan, Brian K.Autorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Staples, FionaArtistautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
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"Saga is the story of Hazel, a child born to star-crossed parents from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war. Now, Hazel's fugitive family must risk everything to find a peaceful future in a harsh universe that values destruction" --Amazon.com.

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