I initially had decided that this was to be my Cover of the Week but then I read it. It would be an extreme disservice to the book not to discuss what lies within and only focus on the fantastic cover. Lying Cat is a popular character and to see this creature, scarred and thirsting for blood is not only disturbing but also upsetting. Given her recent near death experience and slow recovery, it draws out sympathy and concern to see her so angry and full of malice. The shading and light effects on her collar and skin are what allow a simple headshot to deliver such complexity of form and character. The page not only looks great but also brings out sentimental affections for Lying Cat. This is the reason why Saga is such a wonderful comic as this cover reflects why the book is so successful.
I love Saga. I really do, and as base and simplistic it is for me to say that as a reviewer, I am still going to say it, I love Saga. When you begin to think about how this has happened, you become lost in a daydream of memories and fondness for the people you have met. As analytical as I am about almost everything in life, I find it hard to dissect how this has occurred. I ruminate about how Brian K Vaughn has developed this ensemble and how Fiona Staples has drawn such emotive images for our fulfilment. I have never felt like this about a book before. I want to read it all the time; I want to go back again and again to relive the memories I have of it. The people in this book resonate with me, as they do with many of you out there. Whether it is because it affirms the love you have for your children, the mourning of a beloved partner, the loss of a warm and kind father, the girl you once loved haunting you, the boy you adore who doesn’t realise it, the pain of a hurt and recovering family member, or the love of your life not accepted by those around you, we all find ourselves in this story. Personally for me, the final scenario is the resounding feature of the book that brings out my inner pain and hardship. Shhhh! Don’t tell anybody I told you that.
Strip the world of superheroes, supermorals and superadventures and fill it with real people with genuine burdens. Add in a whole host of fantasy, glorious aliens and constructs to make you think it is a world away from ours, but not too much to detach us from it. Then deconstruct the superficial foam bubble packaging that protects us from the cruelness of hatred and despair, and constrains the all-encompassing rapture of love. Saga may be crass and full of lewdness and swearing but it also illustrates to us the bliss and elation that can be achieved from the people we are devoted to. Marko’s faith in Alana is so indomitable that he is willing to risk their child’s life for her to realise her full potential. It is a moment of pure gallantry and conviction. BKV does not show restraint when it comes to the opposing emotional spectrum as The Will’s story is heartbreaking and tragic. His writing is so subtle and nuanced that the deepest motivations and reverences of our beloved assassin, are delivered to us by the uttering of a single name, Sophie. As we come to the final page, it brings it all back to the most important person in the book. It is so endearing that almost brought me to tears.
The book is truthful and unadulterated in the story it wishes to tell, and the relationships it portrays. It is almost more realistic than the lives we live every day. In keeping itself honest, it keeps us honest. Which is why I will say to you, with no qualms or caveats, that I love this book unconditionally and wholeheartedly.