Monday, September 28, 2015

Graphic Novel/Comic Review: "Saga Volume 1" by Brian K. Vaughan

I am so late to the awesomeness that is Saga.  Why?  Why did I wait so long????  This comic is incredible.

I saw that Saga is on the list of the top 10 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2014 as per the ALA's Office of Intellectual Freedom.  And since this is Banned Books Week where we celebrate our freedom to read - well, I finally picked it up and read devoured it.

What is it about?  Basically, it is set in a future time where there is this massive war going on between two worlds/races of people.  This war has spread throughout the galaxy.  Alana and Marko were born to be on opposite sides of this war, soldiers the both of them, but they abandoned their posts and want to just live peacefully.  They are married and have just had a little baby girl.  Of course, the powers that be on both sides of the war don't like this one bit and are out to get them - and are hiring freelance assassins to do so.  This is a fast paced survival adventure story built on love and peace.  The story is smart, funny, meaningful and suspenseful.  The art by Fiona Staples is incredibly beautiful.  I went to work the day after I read this and immediately checked out the next volume.

So, in a book this wonderful, why all the challenges?  I'm sure the cover art gives a clue. So many people can't handle a real life human mother breastfeeding their child in public view, that I'm sure one look at this had some people clutching their pearls.   The official reasons for challenges include:  Anti-Family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.  The "anti-family" charge amazes me.  I mean, look at that cover art again - this is all about loving your family and keeping them safe!  I don't get this at all.  As for the "nudity" and "sexually explicit" challenges - yes, there are breasts and penises shown.  At one point a character visits a brothel, but then tries to rescue a very young sex slave which should be seen as a good thing, I would hope.  Children sold into sex slavery is a thing that actually happens in this world, as awful as that is, and ignoring that does not make it go away.  "Offensive Language" - yes, they swear.  Just as much as in the movies or HBO or whatever.  Get over it.  "Unsuited for age group":  this is a tricky challenge because it does not give any context.  Is this appropriate for middle school?  No, probably not.  High School?    Like it or not, I think the upper grades (older teens) can absolutely handle this material.  They are also old enough to look at something and decide for themselves if they want to read it or not.  But that's just my humble opinion.

Bottom line - I loved loved loved this, and cannot wait to read the rest of the series.  I know that Volume 5 was just processed at our library, so I need to get reading!!

Saga Volume 1
by Brian K. Vaughan
Image, 2012
160 pages
Source:  Borrowed from a friend


1 comment:

Andi said...

Hahahah, clutching their pearls! Yes indeed. There were so many moments that made me laugh, snicker, hide this from my inquisitive 5yo. Great series, though. I've gotten behind and need to catch up.

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