Today, Spencer and Ryan M. Patrick are discussing Saga 34, originally released February 24th, 2016.
Spencer: Every once in a while, a long running series will introduce a new concept and try to say, “hey, this has been important all along!” This can be frustrating when it isn’t true (see: all the various retcons in Star Wars) or when the concept changes the entire dynamic of the series. Yet, when a new idea seamlessly integrates itself into the structure of the story, helping to express and define concepts that have been there all along, it can be absolutely enlightening. That’s what happens in Saga 34, where Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan use the idea of “diversity” to dig into both the causes and the solutions to all the problems plaguing the world of Saga. Continue reading →
Today, Drew and Shelby are discussing Saga 16, originally released November 27th, 2013.
The best-laid plans of mice and men
Often go awry
Robert Burns, To A Mouse
Drew: I used to get so disappointed when the plans of a protagonist would change. It took me a long time to understand that those changes are the engine of drama, and even longer to appreciate that they reflect reality on a fundamental level. Our plans are always changing, sometimes due to external forces, and other times due to internal chances to our own priorities. Most narratives are loaded with the former type, but that latter type is rare. Rarer still are narratives where every character has their plans upended in both ways. Saga has long been one such rarity, and issue 16 reasserts the fragility of its characters’ plans. Continue reading →
Today, Shelby and Drew are discussing Saga 15, originally released October 30th, 2013.
Shelby: I don’t have any kids, but I assume parenting is hard. Not just because you’re trying to figure out how to keep this small creature safe and provide for it and raise it in a way that it doesn’t turn out to be a total douche (presumably that is a common parenting goal), you’ve also got to put up with a deluge of “help.” Everyone who’s raised a child, as well as no small number who haven’t, believe they know the best way to do it. And they are more than happy to give you all sorts of advice on the subject. No matter how sound that advice may be (like, “you should probably get a job”), if it’s unsolicited it will probably be poorly received.
Today, Patrick and (guest writer) Brandon are discussing Saga 12, originally released August 14th, 2013.
Patrick: At the midnight Saga release party at Meltdown Comics over a year ago, Brian K. Vaughan said that he wanted to tell the story of a normal family stuck in the middle of an interstellar war that they wanted nothing to do with. The series itself bears this idea directly – Marko and Alana are combatants from opposite sides of an endless war that find each other through their shared belief in peace. From a storyteller’s perspective, War is much easier to write than Peace. In war (metaphorical or otherwise), there is an objective: no matter how messy and dark it gets, conditions for victory are clear. Saga 13 finds our characters searching blindly for what they’re ‘supposed’ to do next. It’s a meditation on the hope buried in hopelessness and the origin and influence of values. That’s right – welcome back to motherfucking Saga.
Today, Patrick and Shelby are discussing Saga 12, originally released April 10th, 2013.
Patrick: Robots and aliens and monsters and ghosts and magic spells — Saga has never had a difficult time of establishing itself as a piece of science fiction / fantasy literature. The well-defined characters at the heart of the story — the young family of Marko, Alana and Hazel — go a long way toward grounding the series. In recent issues, that same humanity has been extended to peripheral characters, like The Will. This issue leaves all of those comfortable characters behind, and fills in the gaps in the surprisingly nuanced character of Prince Robot IV. When we finally meet D. Oswald Heist, it’s no surprise that he’s a fully formed person with hopes, fears and secrets. Despite itself, I’m beginning to believe that every corner of this world is fully realized.