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Saga: The Book Club
By Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

By Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

This week I attended a book club where my friend Karen and I recommended a comic series for our “book.” We are both fans of Saga by writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Fiona Staples. For the seven women there, Karen and I were the only ones who read comics or graphic novels on a regular basis. Our previous book was The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love. This month’s selection of a science fiction comic book rated Game of Thrones level NC-17, was a bit of a departure from the norm.

I was surprised that everyone enjoyed it. We liked the narrator’s voice, that of Hazel, whose birth starts the whole series. The art was thumbs up all around. One said that she just looked at the art for the longest time before ever bothering to read the plot line. Good font use that made it easy to read. The characters were enjoyed because there was no all good or all evil. The “good guys” were hapless parents caught in a bad time and place to fall in love. The “bad guys” had story lines of their own that made you curious, even care.

Thumbs up for normal looking body types, and a variety of skin colors and facial features. I personally like that an Asian man is finally given the romantic lead, too rare in American entertainment. Big yay for a plethora of confident, kick-ass women, which made us wonder if that is what Brian’s wife is like? Or perhaps the opposite of Brian’s wife?

We liked lying cat and The Will (HOT!), wondering about how they became partners. The cat is obviously not just a pet. The Stalk creeped us out, and we wondered if she was considered attractive by men? Karen’s husband, who also read the series, was brought into the room and put on the spot with that question. He quickly nodded. The Stalk? Yes. Hot. Ok, then.

It was hard to talk much about plot because we chose to only read up to volume 1 (episodes 1-6) which is really an introduction to the world and characters. The sex was rated shocking by some, and not all by others. The violence was generally agreed to be disturbing and harder to handle than reading it in a book. Kathy (former writer for GeekDad and GeekMom, btw) wondered what the demographic of readership was. Men to women? Were typical comic book readers, aka geeky white men, fans of Saga? We don’t know.

Karen had the rest of the series (she buys the comic each week) for people to take home and continue. Many of us already had read ahead. I took the latest three, one of which had caused a bit of a controversy in the comic book world. Amusingly, that issue has a letter printed by Karen. I happily read the letter (which mentioned me too!), and Brian’s declaration that Karen was the “Planet’s Greatest Mother”. Ceili, Karen’s daughter, also had her letter and artwork in that issue!

Saga is currently on a break, so this is a great time to catch up on the series, and maybe recommend it for your book club.

Rebecca Angel

Rebecca Angel was one of those kids that put the dragon book on top of her pile in the hopes that someone would say, "Hey, I'm into that stuff too!" Alas, she had to wait until she was an adult to find fellow geeks. Luckily, she married one and they are homeschooling two children in upstate NY. Rebecca is a singer/songwriter, creative arts instructor, proponent of science literacy and 21st century education, and lover of tea, funky tights, RPGs, anime, manga, comics, fantasy books and movies. She writes about these things on geekmom, her favorite community of fellow geeks!

2 Comments
Chuck

May 2, 2013 9:16 am Reply

As a “geeky middle-aged white guy” who not only reads but also reviews comics I can tell you Saga is singular in the comic book world. So many people outside of the usual comic book fan base have latched onto this book. For us “old timers” it’s a wonderful thing, even the controversy over the first issue’s cover and the latest flap with itunes just keep this book and comics in general in the spotlight.
A recommendation if I may? Keep reading it in monthlies. As tempting as it is to pick up the trades you lose out on the wonderful letters column which I find a great place to see a little deeper into the mind of the creators.
Thanks for this article and keep that book club reading comics!

RebeccaAngel (@RebeccaAngel)

May 2, 2013 5:08 pm Reply

Yeah, Karen mentioned how great it was to read the letters, and we wondered if not including the letters in the bound version was a way to encourage monthly readership?

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