It’s the big 5-0 at Saga this week, which marks a pretty impressive feat for this title. It’s 50 continuous issues with the same creative team on a title that no one knew was going to be as popular as it turned out. Sure, it had BKV behind it, and Fiona Staples is one of the best artists in the business, but she wasn’t exactly a huge name before Saga. There are no guarantees in comics that a series is going to interact with readers the way you want it to or capture them the way the story captured you. So, to have a comic so sincere and loving in its creation and execution become on of the pillars of indie comics is really something.
This issue isn’t the most action packed or emotionally resounding the series has done, which I kind of like since so many companies try to make anniversary issues into something grand. This is actually brought up by Hazel’s narration in the story when she comments on how important moments never really coincide with anniversaries. This issue is well reflected by the cover as well. It’s just about the family moving forward and all the character’s lives changing…again.
The family is taking a pit stop on Jetsam, so that Upsher and Doff can work on and submit their story that Prince Robot brought up to them at the end of last issue. Not to be a favoritist here, but Upsher and Doff are my favorite characters, so anything involving them is A+ in my book. I’m constantly in fear that they’re going to die, since they’re not exactly pillars of the story, but in this issue they live to be gay fish journalists another day! In fact, no one dies in this issue! A win to end all wins.
Of course, I couldn’t get through a review for this issue without talking about that sex scene at the beginning. Man oh man. I love that this book is so unabashedly sexy as well as poignant, and it can flow seamlessly through the two. Alana and Marko go from having very, very X-rated sex on the page, to talking about their love and family and how long they’ve lived to love each other. It’s wonderful, and really speaks to BKV’s strength as a writer and Staples’ strength as an illustrator, that the overt sex never feels like a Zenescope book or worse…straight up porn. It adds a certain charm to the story, which is weird to say, but it’s true.
There’s nothing really more that can be said about Staples’ strength as an artist that hasn’t been said before, so I’ll save you the gushing and just make a bold statement: Fiona Staples is one of the best, if not the best, artists working in the industry right now. Big two or otherwise. Thanks for listening.
Not an exciting issue, but one that moves the plot forward and uncovers some great moments between characters. Saga #50 is a testament to the series’ longevity, and why it has become such a touchstone of indie comics at large. Good storytelling and good art can take you anywhere you need to go, and as long as you’re sincere and put forth the effort, readers will take to what you give them and make it something extraordinary.