I’ve recently fallen in love with graphic novels. They are brilliantly bite-sized, incredibly inventive and so much fun, and I want to share what I discover in my travels through graphics, but don’t always think there’s enough for a full review so there’ll be a round up and a quick overview of what I thought about them instead!
Saga: Volume Two, Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples
When I read and fell in love with Saga: Volume One, I was furiously hoping that it wasn’t a fluke. Thankfully, Volume Two is just as awesome, and even weirder.
It’s unusual for a story about a couple to start after the romance, the getting together, getting married and having a baby, but Saga does just that. And to top it all off, it’s narrated by their daughter, Hazel. Where the story is at the moment, Hazel is only days old so it’s really cool to hear the story from her years in the future, though it does make me panic about the survival of Marko and Alana, especially with such a bounty on their heads...
Every issue you could possibly imagine appearing for a family fleeing intergalactic soldiers, they encountered it. Terrifying (and disgusting) aliens, accidentally landing on a planet that’s not quite a planet and the disapproval of Marko’s parents. It allowed a little more of their history as the grandparents learned about Alana and their story and it was cool to see where they started, how different and how similar their lives on warring planets were.
The story also veered off to give more context to the war they’re living through as well. It was an emotional punch in the gut to see the effects of the war on other characters, for example, a young girl taken into sex slavery, a soldier committing suicide, everyone losing people and some losing their homes. It’s a theme that easily translates into our world, and one that makes you think.
Saga is a powerful, gorgeously drawn and inventive comic and I can’t wait to crack on with the rest of it.
We’re back in Alana, Marko and Hazel’s world, and they’re suffering. The surprising loss of an important character at the end of Volume Two has left Marko a shadow of himself and Klara trying to find her footing, but they still need some answers and the hope of somewhere safe to live.
This managed to turn into a brilliantly bookish adventure. The family take off in search of Quietus, the planet where the author of Alana and Marko’s favourite book – the book that brought them together. Once they’re safely in Heist’s home there are cracks about the madness of authors, snarking about review copies and blurbing for new authors abound and a particularly funny bookgasm from Alana as they go in Heist’s library. So much fun and I love it when book love is show in books.
There were also some really clever time jumps and reveals of what was going on behind the scenes of sections we saw in the previous volume which was super clever. It continues to astound me the reach and depth of these graphic novels and how much you can make them do. So cool!
Saga: Volume Four, Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples
The most recent instalment of the Saga series just about broke my heart; I can’t believe how attached to these characters and this world I’ve become!
Alana and Marko’s relationship is straining under the pressure of having and providing for a family while trying to stay hidden from the authorities and it comes to a head in Volume Four. They both kept being idiots and doing things that would only exacerbate the situation and it came to blows. I was really quite upset! I really hope they find their way back to each other; physically and metaphorically...
As always, the art in this volume was stunning. It’s equally beautiful and weird and so inventive. I’m particularly fond of the occasional double page spread that features in the volume, now they are exquisite. Fiona Staples is an incredibly talented lady.
Another glorious instalment of this series. I now keep checking the web every couple of days in hopes of spying a release date for Volume Five...