Image Comics announced the return of multiple award winning, bestselling series Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples to shelves. The long anticipated Saga #55 issue will kick off a new story arc and land in stores on Wednesday, January 26 from Image Comics. Saga has been on a hiatus ever since Issue #54, which was released in April 2018, far longer than the originally reported “year long hiatus,” leaving readers on a cliffhanger, and marking only the halfway point of Vaughan’s originally promised run of 108 issues.
“Other than my own family, collaborating with Fiona Staples on Saga is the most important thing in my life, so I can’t thank readers and retailers enough for their patience,” said Vaughan. “I think our next 54 issues will be even more shocking, strange, and spectacular than the first 54, so we can’t wait to be back on the shelves at your local comic shop soon.”
Staples added: “I’ve really missed connecting with readers through the pages of Saga, so I’m thrilled to roll up my sleeves and dive into this world again. The next arc is already going places I never imagined. I’m so grateful that we’re able to keep doing this!”
Image Comics will publish the return double-length issue with 44 pages of story for the quickly disappearing $2.99 price point—without variant covers or gimmicky renumbering. Just more “pulse-pounding adventure, heart-wrenching character drama,” graphic sex and violence, as Saga begins the second half of the series.
“Saga launched at Image during the company’s 20th anniversary in 2012, so it seems more than fitting that the series is returning to shops just in time for our 30th anniversary next year,” said Eric Stephenson, Chief Creative Officer and Publisher at Image Comics. “I can think of few better ways to celebrate what Image is all about than by welcoming back one of the most incredible storytelling teams in comics history as they embark on the second half of a true epic-in-the-making.”
Saga has sold seven million copies to date across single issue, trade paperback, compendium, hardcover, and digital editions and has been translated into 20 languages. But in the last few years, rising cover prices, supply side issues, massive distribution changes, and other industry challenges have permanently altered the landscape. And three and half years on hiatus is an eternity in a shifting market where a bulk of your readership has either moved on or their interest has waned due to lack of momentum And in a world where a legacy comic book character is coming out as gay every other month, is the flavor that Saga is known for (i.e. diversity, inclusion, social issues, prominent transgender characters etc.) still timely or as relevant?
I suppose we’ll find out in three more months. Let me know what you think in the comments below.