Inspiration: Strange and Beautiful (or, how I should have noticed Saga earlier)

Hello all. I know, I know, I broke my New Year’s Res, but I’m back on schedule now. And I want to talk about comic books, like usual.

Saga is not new news. In fact, I was very slow on the Saga wagon. I am incredibly picky when it comes to my media – I don’t like gore or heavy stuff and I have a particular art style I like. Saga, on the shelves, always looked… kind of worthy, I guess. The front cover art is heavily sketch based, with characters looking moodily into the sky covered in blood or holding babies and things.

And it put me off.

So I left Saga alone and went about my business.

But recently someone told me it would be something I would like, and gave me their entire 15 issue run, and told me to read it as soon as possible.

I did it in one sitting.

The art inside… oh guys, the art inside. Delicate, colourful, beautiful, and pacey. Every page is bright and bursting. Fiona Staples, the artist, knows her stuff. At the same time as it is delicate, it is bold and ballsy. Some of the panels really shock you (there’s some pretty graphic sexy stuff that you don’t expect in this world of colour and brightness).

And the writing.

The story is narrated by Hazel, a baby (at the moment), daughter of two people on either side of a warring galaxy. She looks back at the journey of her parents and how they kept her safe. It mixes sci-fi with fantasy and ghosts and topical issues about sex slaves and gay rights so carefully and easily that it seems like a comic for our times. Brian K. Vaughn is funny and at the same time saddening on nearly every page.

I can’t wait for the climax.

It made me think of my writing. My own clumsy attempts at comic writing and novel writing, too. It made me think of quality rather than quality. When you write in isolation, you forget that you could be making mistakes. I ramble hugely. Vaughn manages to tell a complex and many-threaded tale with few words and fewer explanations. The world is still rich and vast but it is less hand-holdy and more let’s do this. Because, really, it’s about people. And I always like to think that, really, that’s what my writing is about too.

Go grab yourself a few issues and enjoy.

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