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Saga, Vols. 2–3, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

This entry is part 51 of 56 in the series 2022 Reads

As with other posts in this series, these #booksread2022 posts get published with some lag. I’m trying to be more punctual, though, and this one’s very recent.

I’ve been taking my time with this series, I think mostly just because I’ve been on-and-off busy with other things, but I’m enjoying it enough to keep coming back every once in a while and read a few more on my tablet. (I have the whole thing there, after getting the comics through a Humble Bundle deal sometime last year.)

Why am I enjoying it? There’s a few reasons. First of all, Vaughan and Staples mash together genres with gleeful abandon. Science fantasy has been around for ages, of course, but this thing jumbles together aliens and ghosts and magic and space travel and robots and all kinds of other stuff in a way I’ve never quite seen before. A younger me would have recoiled: like different foods, I didn’t like my genres touching on the same plate. But where I am now, this is fun. 

They’re also deeply unsentimental about (most) characters. Yes, it’s a love story, but this is more honest about what that means than a lot of love stories in other media, and they’re also astonishingly willing to let the chips fall where they may when it comes to secondary characters. (A “fan favorite” side character seems to die at least once per volume, and it affects the characters in meaningful ways, at least so far.)

I also think the writing and the art fit together very well: it feels like Vaughan and Staples really were collaborators in building this weird, enormous world, and the result has kept being engaging for me. (That said, I’m not posting images from the series, because there are loads of them out there on the web, and because hunting down the “best” or “right” ones for this post would just mean I put off publishing it till mid-2023.) 

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