Saga 33

Alternating Currents: Saga 33, Drew and Ryan

Today, Drew and Ryan M. are discussing Saga 33, originally released January 27th, 2016.

Drew: I’m currently taking a class on autobiographical comics, and the discussion thus far has centered around the question of subjectivity. Many of the memoirists we’ve examined thus far have favored the “truth” found in their subjective experience, as opposed to the “historical truth” of a more objective account, but I’ve always found the assumption that history is objective to be problematic. “History is written by the victors,” as the saying goes, revealing not only that history is necessarily biased, but also that history is more the story of wars than life. Indeed, even a historical account of a war has to consider who the story is really about: Generals? Individual soldiers? Civilians? Reporters? That last one may seem out of place, taking a narrow focus on people who neither represent the masses nor the machinations of war, but as the ones literally writing the histories as they happen, reporters are the only ones capable of giving an account that isn’t filtered through the subjective experience of someone else (as, say, a civilian’s story as told by a reporter would be). There are more layers of subjectivity to explore here, but the point is: reporters’ stories are just as important as those they cover, which makes Saga 33‘s turn to Upsher and Doff so welcome. Continue reading

Saga 25

saga 25

Today, Ryan and Patrick are discussing Saga 25, originally released February 4th, 2015.

Ryan: Pop culture loves rebels. We hang posters of them in our dorm rooms, whether they have a cause or not. We wear red graphic t-shirts emblazoned with their likeness, not very concerned about some of the more morally ambiguous acts this person committed. Luke Skywalker played figurehead for the Rebel Alliance and may be the most popular and beloved rebel of all time, despite the fact that the blood of 322,951 Death Star personnel (not to mention the oil of 400 thousand plus droids) stains his non-synthetic hand. Saga 25 adds another variable into the mix with the introduction of a third side to the outstanding war between Landfall and Wreath, while also providing another complication to the Dengo child-heist. Continue reading

Saga 24

saga 24Today, Ryan and Spencer are discussing Saga 24, originally released October 29th, 2014.

Ryan: You may be inclined to a small moment of panic when you begin reading Saga 24. I, personally, thought that I had skipped an issue somewhere. Last issue focused on the teased but unrealized extramarital affair between Marko and that hussy, Ginny, the fallouts of Alana’s fight with Marko, and Dengo using Yuma to abduct most of our protagonists in one fell swoop. This issue’s beautiful cover and opening scene reintroduce The Will’s sister, The Brand, toting a crash helm and her sidekick Sweet Boy on her search for her brother.

Continue reading

Saga 23

Alternating Currents: Saga 23, Drew and PatrickToday, Drew and Patrick are discussing Saga 23, originally released September 24th, 2014.

Artists use lies to tell the truth. Yes, I created a lie. But because you believed it, you found something true about yourself.

-Alan Moore

Drew: In looking for an epigram for this piece, I sifted through about a dozen quotes that boil down to the same point: fiction is a lie that tells the truth. Ultimately, I chose Moore’s quote because it goes into a bit more detail (and because Alan Moore has a bit more cachet on a comics site than, say, Albert Camus), but I think its the pervasiveness of this notion that is truly remarkable. I understand the sentiment — fiction is by definition not true, but must be emotional honest in order to succeed — but I’m not sure I agree that fiction and lies exist on the same continuum. Lies exist to obscure the truth, either for the benefit of the liar or the person being lied to, while fiction simply seeks a novel way to approach the truth. There’s a difference between fiction and lies, a notion that Saga waded into in its fourth arc, and one that absolutely permeates issue 23. Continue reading

Saga 22

saga 22

Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Saga 22, originally released August 27th, 2014.

Drew: The interpersonal relationships within families are insanely complex. They’re necessarily the longest relationships anyone has, meaning each one has years of subtle dynamics informing our behavior. Moreover, the stakes of any conflict within family are significantly higher — it’s one thing to be alienated by a friend, but quite another to be alienated by a parent. With all of these subtle dynamics and amplified emotions, it’s easy to understand why families are so often at the center of great dramas, from King Lear to Breaking Bad. As Saga’s fourth volume passes the halfway mark, it’s decidedly become a family drama (as opposed to the parenting focus of the first volumes), yet writer Brian K Vaughan finds tragedy not in the inflated stakes of family relationships, but in the all-too relatable act of taking family for granted. Continue reading