10 January 2013

Comic: A Review of Saga, Brian K. Vaughan

Annually, I venture down the street to visit the local comic shop.  It is a little tiny hovel of a store, located above another somewhat larger even more obscurely packed store dedicated to the more avant-garde comic, the graphic novel. My first solo mission to buy a comic book found me  hovering on the ground floor, bumbling over myself for having asked to be directed to the X-men section.  Thankfully I spied stairs and scurried up them trying to remove myself from the extremely put out clerk who was so completely devastated by my simple request.  It is those shabby stairs that I climb yearly to ask the thin, happy 30-something owner the same question.  What to buy for a X-men crazed husband, who loves illustration more than the scripts?  And so my time is spent following after him, from one crowded shelf to another, squeezing past dazed customers, lost in whatever fantastical world they have devoted to, to find the book, the anthology that will bring a very happy smile to my hubby for Christmas.  The years spent in this tiny store has blossomed an interest myself for comics and even more slowly the graphic novel.   

It wasn't my husband who first introduced me to the world of comics, that was thanks to my little brother.  Crashed out  in the back seat of the car, actively ignoring the defining beauty that is Canada, my brother and I were lost in our comic worlds while my family spent the summers driving from campground to campground.    My father was not one for simple 2 hour jaunts.  Oh no,  we were buckled in for the long haul, 8 hours or more. To really get a kid to commit to such adventures, bribes were in order.  Sweet blessed hours were upon me when I had in hand a new Barbie and a Double Digest Archie Comic to help me forget that until we arrived at the next camp-site, (please, please, please have a swimming pool) there was nothing to look at.  Expect for endless forests, with endless mountain scenery and endless little brooks and waterfalls with mountain sheep scattered along the slopes.  

It was those trips when the love triangle of Archie was a little too trite for even my young 8
year old heart would I beg my brother if I could read some of his comics.  Much time was spent over the promises not to tear, bend, breathe or read them too strongly for fear of  damaging them.  Thinking back, there is no surprise where my current reading tendencies budded from.  

A notable addition to your book pile this year should includeSaga by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples (Illustrator).  A graphic novel is not worthy of it's salt if the illustrations do not draw you in. What is the point really?  Staples's illustrations in Saga pushes this graphic novel over the edge into awesome territory.   I won't even bother you with my feelings towards the plot...words like amazing, and why can't this BE A BOOK come to mind.   Volume 1 opens to the birth of Hazel, the off-spring of two star-crossed lovers who unfortunately are soldiers from opposing warring nations.  Between the illustrations and the plot there is so much eye candy to absorb that I had to pace myself.   I'm big on small details, Vaughan wins my heart for coming up with the best name for a Moon; Wreath.  Wreath!