DCBS.com had the first volume of Saga for $5, so me and some other friends picked it up to discuss. Here's my take on it.
First off, know that I've never been a big BKV fan. Secondly, the first three paragraphs were written while I was halfway through issue #2.Saga Vol. 1
- I knew before the end of the first issue this wasn't a book for me. The story isn't the worst of it, but for the praise the story is getting, I'm unimpressed. There are two major issues for me. The first is that this is way more of a sword & sorcery/fantasy/quest structure than I'd want in my sci-fi (and personally, I think it's actually fantasy with some sci-fi thrown in). The second is the absolutely jarring references to real-world stuff like apps and romance novels with shirtless men. At best Vaughn's writing is pedestrian. At worst it's boring.
But my real problems are in the visuals. As best I can tell Fiona Staples hasn't done a lot of sequential work. It shows. Like some of the writing, the panel structure and layouts are just so boringly basic. And the overly sketchy feel to the whole thing makes the product feel unfinished. But my major problem is with Fonografiks and their lettering. I've said it before, lettering is a crap job because if you do it right no one talks about it or really notices it, but if you do it wrong it can bring down an entire book. The font for the robots is abysmal. But the narrative by the kid in the handwritten, slanty, directly-on-the-art is so (banned)ing annoying my eyes roll everytime I hit a section of it.
So, while I can sometimes accept that a book simply isn't for me, but others may love it, Saga is more of a case of, "Why are people raving about this?"
That's what I wrote after only finishing the first issue and a half. Having now finished the book, I pretty much think the same. But I've never been a Vaughn fan. I've tried plenty, but I just don't connect with his writing. I find it all dry and boring. And sometimes dated and distracting - a spider-lady bounty hunter using the phrase "baby daddy..." Really?!? No on has said that in years. And before that it was said ironically for years. There's really just too many moments like that that really don't work for me. By the end, it's basically less interesting and less sci-fi Farscape.
The art still feels a little too raw and unpolished, but there is some great storytelling in the characters' eyes and mouths. It's just that while that's happening anatomy and other details are kind of left behind. And, yeah, the lettering still pisses me off.
There was a bit of conversation back and forth and then I made this reply a few hours later.
At the time, I just made the following as an off-the-cuff quick comparison: "it's basically less interesting and less sci-fi Farscape."
Then you guys hit me up with these comments and I couldn't help but start really thinking it through.
something that was so different than what it out there
there's not much out there like this
For me, it really was a less interesting and less sci-fi Farscape. And that's a problem because a year ago Boom wrapped up what was (essentially) a three year, 48 issue Farscape story about star-crossed lovers who get married, have a kid and the entire galaxy, but one uber-baddie in particular, is after them. So, there was already something a lot like this (super similar really) that was done, for me, way better just a year ago.