Saga: The Comic That's A Sci-Fi "Him & Her"

Star crossed lovers, charismatic bounty hunters and some of the sharpest dialogue in any medium, Brian K Vaughan's Saga is more than a sequence of pictures with word ballons, it's an epic story you should be picking up.
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Star crossed lovers, charismatic bounty hunters and some of the sharpest dialogue in any medium, Brian K Vaughan's Saga is more than a sequence of pictures with word ballons, it's an epic story you should be picking up.

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Let’s talk about comics.

In fact, lets talk specifically about one comic. A comic that you're going to absolutely adore against all your (imagined) better principles, against the fact that you (a generic you referring to the majority here) don't read comics "'cause they're for kids". It's called 'Saga', its brilliantly written by Brian K. Vaughan, beautifully illustrated by Fiona Staples and its quite, quite wonderful.

Now the only thing I know about Brian K Vaughan is that I've never read anything by him before. This is clearly a ridiculous omission on my part, anybody that can write this well deserves the widest audience possible.

So what's it about?

Don't take any notice of surfaces, on the surface it's a science fiction fairy tale of a couple on the run from a galaxy spanning war. It's not about that at all, it's about family and love and relationships and how sometimes you have to put in the effort to be with the person you need to be even though everything is against the two of you being together.

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Marko and Alana are refugees, opposing factions from a war that they were born into, that they had no say in, that they have no desire to participate in; obviously they accidentally fall in love. Obviously neither side of the conflict is overly pleased with them for this. That Marko has ram's horns and casts spells and that Alana has wings and is a trained warrior is neither here nor there, these are the most convincing fictional couple you will ever meet; despite everything they are real people, more real than the cast of Eastenders will ever be. They are Steve and Becky from Him & Her gone (not really, honest) sci-fi. They're cool, sharp, sarcastic, they bicker and squabble, they adore each other and their story is narrated by Hazel, their infant daughter born at the start of issue one.

This is a family.

The writing is razor sharp, witty, delicate and profane; the dialogue rolls in the way that real people speak. If this was HBO you would be watching it every week. You would embrace the supporting cast of bounty hunters, ghosts, royalty, warriors and the ever present threat of the re-emergence of an ex-girlfriend in the way that you accepted Cylons in Battlestar Galactica, the gangsters in Sopranos, the 'imp' in Game of Thrones. If it were Saturday tea time on BBC1 you would realise that this couple are Amy and Rory from Doctor Who given their own adventure.

And that's the key, ignore the fact that this is a sequence of pictures with word balloons. Ignore the fact that you decided years ago that you don't read comics; they're for children and geeks. Ignore all that and accept that, no matter how it’s told, a good story is a good story.

And 'Saga' is a truly great story.

(Saga is published by Image Comics, is currently at issue 8 and is undoubtedly available in all good comic shops. You can download the first issue for free here at Comixology. Advert over)

Follow Ian on Twitter: @fish2310 and read his blog at Mumbling Into The Void