I'm sure I've said this before, but, considering the amount that I drink and how rarely I write on this blog, maybe it needs restating-- We're living in a goddamn golden age of science fiction. I mean, that can be said of media, in general (with the possible exception of movies, which seem to be stuck in Saturday morning cartoon mode, but anyways. . .), but it can be said especially of science fiction comic books.
Between Low, East of West, Wild's End, and Prophet, the past few years have been very good for nerds like me. Foremost amongst those comic books though, is the Fionna Staples and Brian K. Vaughn vehicle Saga.
Just read that book. Go. Do it now if you haven't already. I mean, unless you're a kid, in which case, you should not be reading this comic. Or this blog. Go play Minecraft. What are you doing? Get out of here.
Man, Saga is really, really good.
Saga works because it seems to be having fun with the world that it has built. It's got magic, wooden space ships, and seal boys with giant axes. It's a silliness that also gives the book gravitas when it shifts gears into darker, uglier subjects. It's a back and forth that never feels out of place and never throws the reader off balance. It is a silly world where terrible things happen and despite the smart-ass liar cats, it's a world that reads as true.
What it doesn't take for granted or play around with is how seriously it takes its characters. There is a real care taken to how the characters interact with each other and how they sound and how they read. The same can be said of the art. Staples and Vaughn are knocking this book out of the park with every issue that they complete.
That is not to say that Saga is not an intensely silly book. Because it is. It's very silly. It's about kids and has an immense amount of sex in it. I could not think of two things more diametrically opposed that can bring the same amount of levity. Because, man, kids are pretty dumb and adults are even dumber.
Saga has a life to it that few other comics of any genre have, and I cannot wait until Volume 7 comes out in trade paperback. At the very least, it'll help me get through another miserable family holiday.
James Kislingbury is a writer and a podcast. You can read him on this dumb blog and you can listen to him here.