Thursday, April 29, 2021

Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples - Saga I

When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.
From bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan, Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults. 

Comment: I added this to my TBR in 2014. In the meantime, more and more readers have enjoyed the book, if one looks at the average grading on review sites or the relatively bigger percentage of positive reviews out there. I kept postponing reading it because I waited for the price to come down and if it was not on the shelf it was easier to let it get passed over for other books. Well, I finally bought the book and read it but I have to say I don't feel it was for me after all...

In this fantasy graphic novel we follow the - very apropos - Saga of a couple from different sides of a war (and species) as they run for their lives and try to find a place to be left alone, especially since they just had a baby girl. The problem is that their union isn't seen well by the several factions out there, including their own, and they are chased by them all and also a few mercenaries. Will it be possible for them to get some respite and make others realize diversity and freedom to be with whomever one wants and love should matter the most?

Of course I don't know exactly how this will play out since there are many installments in the series and I only read the first one. Thinking about all the other fantasy books or long series out there, I bet they won't gave it easy without some sacrifices or pain but surely there will be funny and heartwarming moments too, to balance things properly.

However, for me personally, the issue isn't an issue at all because I admit I don't plan on reading the other books. The story simply didn't grab me and I put my problem at the graphic style. Comic books don't seem to work for me anymore, I was extremely indifferent to the story except for the obvious hard passages with "icky" scenes. I like to let my imagination go so to have the scenes play out on the page was both difficult and fresh, yes, but globally, I don't think I enjoyed it that much.

Nothing wrong with it, though, I think the artists did a wonderful job! The texts that follow the scenes are OK but... I just don't think I was touched enough nor did the match between text and image made me invested enough to want to carry on. The story has its goal, has a message, is clever and actual under a fantasy design but more than the content, it was the shape that didn't captivate me. It was so easy to turn the pages but I was so focused on the images and how they were meant to impact that the text was secondary and necessarily too short for me to really feel I was connecting with the characters.

The content was something to think about for certain. I can picture the authors brainstorming together and coming up with the ideas to put on the page and some things were really amazing, especially their imagination to create new "species". There's a message in all this, especially if one wants to think about what each character or situation could represent and I bet it took them some time to design what they wanted. I suppose it was also a lot of fun for them and in some cases it shows, some scenes do try to have a more comic vibe.

Sadly, despite trying to see the different sides to this, I simply wasn't too invested. It's hard to explain but it didn't even feel I was reading a book, so obvious it was to look at the drawings. I can appreciate this for what it is, for what it can symbolize and the effort it takes to be an artistic team creating this, but in the end it isn't the right fit for me.

Grade: 5/10

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