Review: Saga Deluxe Edition, Vol. 1 (1-18) by Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples

Saga Deluxe Edition, Volume 1Saga Deluxe Edition, Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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OK I almost feel like I need to invent a 6th Star to account for how much awesomeness just rolled all over me. I had wanted to read this for some time, and thanks to the good folks at Humble Bundle and Image, I was able to, in a handy dandy digital version!

In a way I’m sad I missed out for this long, but in a stronger way, thank GOD I waited so that I could take in 18 Chapters/Issues all at once. BINGE!

I just don’t know where to start…I mean from the first page it grabs you…

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Hooked! Profanity? Poop? Hells to the yizzle!

The colours…I mean…gorgeous. This may be the most colourful book I’ve ever read…I stopped at one point because I feel like this could be just distributed across the world in colour with no words, and I still feel like it would produce great joy. I feel like Rainbows and Skittles come to read this book to get an idea of how colour works.

Did I say I liked the colours?

On top of that, this is one of the funniest things I’ve read too, not just smirks, observations, but laughing out loud and having to go and show my wife (who doesn’t really care, but seems to enjoy my prattling on like a dumbass about how funny the Ram-Man and the Flying-Girl are.)

This book also has a lot of inter-species erotica, including Robot Sex! A whole planet of debauchery, and it’s explicit. There’s no PG for kids here, and it manages to be sexy and funny at the same time…this bit about coming inside? I mean my GOD, I was on the floor.

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I love the word Twat. It’s so good. I love that they use the c-word, my God, I love that there’s no fear at all. They’re just gonna do what they’re gonna do. Bravo Mr. BKV as the peeps call you…oh and Ms. Staples? You are a goddess of artistry. I wasn’t sure what to make at first, but pretty soon I was wondering how I’d lived my life so long WITHOUT this art…

I could gush and gush some more, but sometimes, you just get so immersed in a world, and it’s so real and lush and intoxicating, there’s nothing better than diving in.

Oh, and on top of it, the leading assassin in the galaxy saves a 6-year old child prostitute from that nightmare. (Want to endear everyone to a character? That’ll do it.)

A war between Ram-people who live on Moons and Flying-People who live on Earths…do the Ram people speak some kinda Spanish/Italian/Portuguese hybrid?
Throw in the forbidden love, the outlaws on the run, the cute baby, family story, grandparents, a Gigantic old Tree that’s a spaceship! (Say WHAT? I shit you not.)

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Then there’s all the inside jokes about writers, and the underlying message about peace in wartime and the parallels about war and it’s devastation and unending cycles…I mean this just has so much going on…wow.

Did I mention there’s a Pink Ghost who babysits the baby? Oh and she’s missing half her body, including her vagina, which is helpfully pointed out!

Don’t forget the violence too…

Oh and there’s a fantastic narrative throughout the whole story done by the now somewhat grown baby (Hazel) which is sorta painted into each panel like ether, it just sorta floats there. At first super distracting, but then, very cool, now, actually a very enjoyable part.

And don’t forget the COLOURS! I almost wish I had some acid so I could read this again and smell the colours. A book this imaginative doesn’t have the right to be this funny AND original AND colourful AND gorgeous AND an addictive page-turner.

But no matter what, don’t forget:

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I literally cannot WAIT for Vol. 4…I may shit myself in anticipation.


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Review: Weird Fantasy Vol. 1 (EC Comics Reprint)

The EC Archives: Weird Fantasy Volume 1The EC Archives: Weird Fantasy Volume 1 by Bill Gaines
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

***Dark Horse reprinting of EC Comics, so very Indy!***

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This is a gorgeous collection of EC Comics from the early 1950s, published and written by one Bill Gaines…aka Mr. MAD Magazine!

Along with some great other writers, Weird Fantasy is actually a Science Fiction book. 1950s Science Ficton from before the Witch hunt against comics leading to juvenile delinquency…a golden age in many ways.

There’s a number of issues collected here (even though their numbering is off, they are chronologically the first 6 issues) with a great range of stories.

Time Travel, Space Exploration, Atomic War, Aliens, Life and Death, lots of great stuff that’s been made into movies, some of the coolest ideas that sustained SciFi for the next 65 years.

Discussions of String Theory, 4th Dimensions, Gamma, Infrared, Atomic Energy, this isn’t just dumb pulp, it’s a blast.

From the man who builds a time machine (only with the help of his younger self, and the paradox loop that leads to), to the team that flies through space to a different solar system, only to loop back on themselves, a la Planet of the Apes (but this was written long before the Damn Dirty Apes), to the fears of Atomic Nuclear War and the aftermath: mutants, robots, uninhabitable wastelands.

This is such fun. This book is the kind of thing you used to love to find, just a bit older than you were supposed to be reading, it felt like some kind of secret they let you in on, and you always wanted more, reading it under the blankets at night by flashlight. (Or at least, I did…)

The art is colourful in this reproduction, bright, enjoyable, yet the subject matter is still the kind of questions we wrestle with today…

Thank you to Dark Horse for publishing the reprints of this great company, I cannot WAIT to get my hands on more of this. Without this, we wouldn’t have the dreamers of comics like Morrison, Hickman, Ellis, others. Heck we might not even have the normal comics we do today. I love the intelligence that goes into something that was throw-away for so many, yet over half a century later, look how relevant the subject matter is. Great writing never ages.

I strongly recommend this to all the Shallows Gang, and anyone else looking for a fun read, that you could also share with kids worry free (Anne!)


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