While I'm not familiar with the work of Brian K. Vaughan if this book is any indication, he's certainly earned the reputation for qWow that was good.
While I'm not familiar with the work of Brian K. Vaughan if this book is any indication, he's certainly earned the reputation for quality writing.
With Saga, he and artist Fiona Staples give us a literal star-crossed lovers story. This time, the lovers are from two different warring races. The war itself has been going on for a while and is destroying the galaxy. Our protagonists, Alana (the girl with the wings) and Marko (her husband, with the horns), as the series opens, are having their first child. To say this is the only moment of peace they get is a slight exaggeration, but only slight. Within minutes they are attacked by factions from both sides, who see the couple as scum and traitor (the epithets flip depending on whose kinsmen are spouting them). From this point on, the three are on the run. And that's the basic plot (at least for the first 6 issues, which are collected and reprinted here).
Once you get past that, though, you get into some wonderful story-telling. You get secondary characters who are fully realized the moment they hit the page. You get plot twists you didn't see coming and that confound your expectations. And you get beautiful art, illustrating creative, new races of interstellar folk.
What’s nice about this is it really plays with the precepts of visual story-telling. This isn’t a superhero book with civilian casualties, this is civilians just trying to make their way. This is a book about being parents and bringing children into a hostile environment. It’s about trying to do the right thing because now you have a kid and they will reflect everything you do. It’s about trust and growth and family. And ghosts. And living wooden rocket ships and revenge and a cat who knows when you’re lying and a killer with a rock steady moral compass. But at its heart it’s about two parents and their daughter who are real. They have fights, they disagree, they make-up. They love each other.
I don’t want to say too much more because it’s a joy to read and discover it for yourself. Additionally, I’ve only read the first collection and there’s currently 4x more issues to read before I’m caught up (and I will be caught up soon). It won’t take you long to finish once you start. And once you finish it won’t take you long before you’re pining for the next one.
The only caveat I have is this isn’t for little ones. Sure, a cover illustration of a winged woman breastfeeding might be a clue in that direction and the first line of dialogue, “Am I shitting?”, removes any doubt. So with that in mind, go to your local comic store and pick up a copy. ...more
Coming on the heels of reading "X-Men - Days of Future Past," the theme is similar yet, I think, much better executed here. The fact that this is a onComing on the heels of reading "X-Men - Days of Future Past," the theme is similar yet, I think, much better executed here. The fact that this is a one-off helps. Chris Claremont didn't have to worry about monthly continuity, he could simply write the story he wanted to write. But then again, the X-Men have long been the Marvel stand-in for "the Other" so it's no surprise they are the go to characters when anyone wants to make a point about intolerance and hate. This story has the added bonus of including religious zealotry and hypocrisy. Of course, as a book written in 1982, the resonance it has with today's America and the ideology which is pushing for a theocratic government is pretty impressive.
So, overall, a bit of an easy target and a simplified answer to a complicated issue... but huge props for calling out racism in any form (and for probably the only time a certain racial epithet was uttered in a mainstream comic book, and uttered by a proudly jewish girl who is under 18 - almost as many discriminated against minorities you can jam into one character)....more
I have to say, I remember reading these initial books when they came out in 80-81 and I remember being absolutely blown away by them. This was the intI have to say, I remember reading these initial books when they came out in 80-81 and I remember being absolutely blown away by them. This was the introduction of Kitty Pryde, who, if you are a comic reader and my age, you had developed a massive crush on at just the right time in your formative years (it didn’t hurt she was Jewish, as I was, so, ya know, there was a bond). So it was with this sense of nostalgia I picked up the compilation (I refuse to call this a graphic novel – a Graphic Novel is a coherant story told in a visual medium with the depth of a piece of literature. It is not a mere collection of monthly comics bound together in a paperback format in the hopes of turning more people on to the comic form by giving it a high falutin’ name). The other reason for my return interest is the thought they are basing the next X-Men film (going by title alone) on this particular sequence of the comic history.
Boy, was I disappointed.
I know, we have to look at the comics in the context of their time and how important they were then, and I am, but still, the artform has come a long way. Not to mention the collection is slightly padded out with stories which really have nothing to do with the “Days of Future Past” storyline, including an issue long catch-up which, if the editros had really wanted us to know what was happeneing, they could have accomplished with a three paragraph piece of prose rather than a 28 page piece of clunky exposition. And speaking of clunky exposition... wow. I understand the need to keep the casual reader up to date with what’s been happening in the story (and I will admit, if you’re reading these issue by issue, it might even help a bit), but reading it straight through, you come out of it feeling that everyone who ever compared comic books to soap operas was 100% spot on.
That all said, the two issue arc which actually hits the “Days of Future Past” stuff offers up some interesting discussion starters on political gain at the cost of human rights, congress vs. The White House and of course, causality and time travel. So while it wasn’t a bad read, like other pieces of literature I’ve tried to recapture recently from my youth, it might have been better to keep it as a distant memory rather than try to relive it. ...more
Really wonderful introduction to the work of Carl Barks. Not only are the comics themselves great, but the analytical essays really explain the deeperReally wonderful introduction to the work of Carl Barks. Not only are the comics themselves great, but the analytical essays really explain the deeper meanings....more