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Saga: Explicit, Violent, Sweet, Instant Classic

There’s a reason why I wasn’t that excited for the new Star Wars movie. The lightsaber didn’t surprise me, and it seems like a cool idea anyways. And sure, the general reaction to the black stormtrooper had me scratching my head, but other than that, Star Wars isn’t what defines sci-fi and space operas for me anymore. Saga does because it’s filled with the weirdest and sweetest stuff to ever grace sci-fi since Firefly and it all starts with a daughter talking about her folks.

A Comic with an Outlandish Premise
Saga is strange in many different ways. Firstly, it’s fantasy/sci-fi romp through a wide universe. Each planet is peopled by some fun races which range from adorable anthropomorphic seals to the magical folk of Wreath. The Robot Kingdom are filled with, surprise, robots, with TVs replacing their heads and with the anatomy and functionality of humans. It’s all very weird and it’s a lot to take in if you aren’t initiated with how Pulpy old school Sci-Fi can get.

But that’s just a small part of how wild and beautiful Saga is. In between bounty hunters with extendable lances, Spider/human beings armed to the teeth, and ghosts, there’s a sweet story about family and forbidden love.

Inspired by Star Wars and Flash Gordon
Now a lot of people might already draw parallels between this comic and the biggun’ which is Star Wars, and for the most part, those comparisons are right. Brian Vaughan openly admits that his inspirations for Saga fall firmly in the world of the Jedi with a little Flash Gordon splashed in for flavor. However, those lines have been drawn and both already have followings of their own. Saga is new to the game, but each page brings a treasure trove of visually striking art and lore you can really sink your teeth into. Also, The Will is cool as hell.

‘Cause you can’t do Sci-Fi without a few burns.

The Heart of an Epic Saga
If you’ve ever read any of my old reviews, then my adoration for sappy stuff should be evident. The special thing I found in Saga is its familial themes. While battling bounty hunters, combat trained grandparents, and occasionally their own cultures, Marko and Alana struggle to make ends meet. They seek shelter wherever they can while raising their little Hazel in a very violent world wired to hate her from the get go. Things can’t get any worse for this fledgling family, and yet, they make it work with a little grit and a lot of love. It also helps that between high octane action scenes are tender little moments like this.

This is Lying Cat, which calls anyone out on their lies. Lying Cat is my new favorite thing.

Conclusion
Saga is a special little gem of a comic that constantly builds on its already expansive and deep lore. I can tell that this will run for a very long time, and may even inspire some studios to adapt its weird and bright material. Give it a read if you’re a little tired of the Sci-Fi you see on the TV. Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples have made one helluva sweet story. Next week’s review will jump right back into Science Fiction, but it’ll be pulpier and even a bit more nostalgic than most titles.

Saga, Vol. 1 (Paperback)


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Country Boy ethics with too much vague rhetoric. Plus video games, rap, rock, and films.
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Weekly Comic Round Up: Sex Criminals

I want to take a step back, think for a bit, and if you’re willing to overlook that title for a minute, then I want you to take a step back with me. Not too long ago, a bill regarding reproductive education was in the works here in the Philippines. It would have provided a more comprehensive approach towards sex, how it works, and how the youth can protect themselves while they are engaged in relations. This bill, however, didn’t completely pass because we’re a conservative country with some old school views on religion. For every Filipino kid whose have danced awkwardly around the subject of sex, I say pick up this comic if you want some answers.

The Comic: Not as dirty as you think

Now at first, I approached this comic with a bit of apprehension and doubt. From the title alone, my assumptions brought me to the conclusion that Sex Criminals was going to be soft core porn. I couldn’t have been more wrong about a comic in all my life. Sure, most of the themes in this very graphic novel are sexual in nature; there nudie scenes everywhere, but that doesn’t subtract anything from the core message of the comic. It’s just about two people finding each other, and despite their difficult pasts, falling in love in a very real way.

Oh, and it doesn’t end there either.

Approaching Awkward Themes as Gracefully as a Bull in a Sex Shop

Sex Criminals is also trying to start a conversation about the awkward teen years when you’re just learning about masturbation, how sex works, and how no one ever has a straight answer for you when you do ask. At its core, Sex Criminals is trying to address Sex in a personal and often funny way. One scene depicted Jon, the lead male character, not actually climaxing during his first sexual encounter.

Suzie is also a delight; Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky approach her coming (pun intended) of age in a realistic and none exploitative manner, and that’s rare when it comes to lead female protagonists. Oh, when both of these characters climax they freeze time, so that’s something to look forward to.

ET Junior

Letter Daddies

While the writing on its own is hilarious, heartwarming, and weird, the real gems are the so called Letter Daddies found on the last pages of the comic. Every month, folks send out hilarious anecdotes about porn in the woods, cleverly worded dick jokes, and surprisingly, a lot of people also try to discuss some very intimate issues they have about sex. Quite recently, the creators have also called upon the services of a professor who deals with sexual issues in real life. You might even learn a thing or two from the sex tips. I particularly found this piece of advice most helpful.

Special Spiderman

The Point

You know, I find a lot of important points that come up in SC. Past relationships, issues about promiscuity, orientation, and even mental health; Matt and Chip do a wonderful job of bringing these stories to light. I may paraphrase this a bit, but I think the words of Matt in one of the later issues sums up the conversation up pretty well. “Sex, like so many other things in life is a continuum of experience”.

It gets two big thumbs up from me; thumbs that go straight up the creators’ happy places.

Related Products:

Sex Criminals #1 (Comic)


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Sex Criminals #2 (Comic)


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Sex Criminals Volume 1: One Weird Trick (Paperback)


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Country Boy ethics with too much vague rhetoric. Plus video games, rap, rock, and films.