It is a stereotypical scene, where a kid who is supposed to be reading a thick novel for class has a comic book hidden within its pages and is actually flipping through that.
I always kind of hated that caricature.
It makes it seem like reading the comic book doesn’t count as real reading. It’s as if whoever came up with that thinks that the stories you can glean from the pages of a comic book are not as meaningful as what you would find in a great literary work.
If you’ve read my stuff before (goddammit, Hurych, just say blog posts already), you know that I love to read books. In fact, I love reading of all sorts.
But I have to admit, comics hold a special place in my heart.
Right now, I’m particularly in love with the comic book series Saga. It is currently still being printed, and it is awesome as fuck! (Pardon my French.)
It is written by Brian K. Vaughan (a fantastic writer) and drawn by Fiona Staples. It tells the story (the saga, if you will) of two soldiers who come from warring planets. These soldiers fall in love with each other and start a family, but they have to be on the run constantly because there are people out in the universe who don’t want it to be known that such a relationship can exist.
I’m doing a piss-poor job of summarizing the plot as I know it, but I seriously don’t want to give too much away just in case someone reads this and decides to check Saga out. It’s that good.
The story of Saga is nothing we haven’t seen before. In fact, I’d say it’s a bit of a classic tale. But that’s not what sets it apart. The setting and the characters are so delightful and diverse; they’re the real draw of the series. There’s a man who can use magic to deal deathly damage to people, but refuses to do so because he believes in nonviolence. There’s a large pet cat that can tell when people lie. There’s the disembodied ghost of a teenage girl who connects her soul to that of a newborn baby.
My favorite character is a bipedal baby seal named Ghüs. He has a pet walrus named Friendo. What more do I need to say about him?
I have seriously gone out of my way to own every item of Ghüs memorabilia that I can find. (Danny has lovingly gifted me some of them. Most of them, actually.) The sight of him makes me squeal; he is just too damn cute.
But Ghüs is more than an adorable face. He has a down-to-earth personality, and he always tries to do right by his friends, even if it means putting his own life in danger. He’s a tough little guy. He’s not afraid of going up against characters who are way bigger than him, including dangerous Freelancers.
I cannot recommend Saga highly enough. Saga is the kind of comic book that transcends the concept of a comic book. It exceeds expectations without becoming snotty. It’s engaging, endearing, and exciting.
If you feel like you can’t approach comic books without having to read a million issues of back history before understanding characters, don’t worry about that with Saga. It is its own self-contained story.
And it is by far the best thing I am reading right now.