by Jamison Ashley
Saga is an epic space opera/fantasy comic book series written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Fiona Staples, published monthly by Image Comics. The first issue of Saga was published in March 2012, and has been a consistent sales success for the publisher, with its collected editions outselling those of The Walking Dead. It’s Vaughan’s first creator-owned work to be published through Image Comics, and is the first time he employed narration in his comics writing.
The series is heavily influenced by Star Wars and is based on ideas Vaughan conceived both as a child and as a parent. It depicts a husband and wife, Alana and Marko, from long-warring extraterrestrial races, fleeing authorities from both sides of a galactic war as they struggle to care for their daughter, Hazel, who is born in the beginning of the series and who occasionally narrates the series as an unseen adult. Over the course of the first fifty issue, Hazel has grown from a newborn to a child and her world has grown with new planets and an ever-expanding family.
Saga just released its 54th issue this week. And after eight trade paperbacks and a couple of hardcovers over the last six years, the creators have announced they’re taking a year long hiatus.
The following message was published in the back of the latest issue:
“After fifty-four issues and over 1,200 consecutive pages of sequential storytelling together, Fiona and I have decided to take an extended break before we eventually reunite with Saga #55. And unlike our usual three months of ‘Vacationanza’ between arcs, we plan to pause publication of this series for at least the next year.
This obviously wasn’t a decision we took lightly, but Fiona and I feel a responsibility to keep making the very best comic we can, and we both agreed that he only way to eventually finish the epic saga we set out to tell was with this one significant… let’s call it…
Yeah, I know it’s a drag, but I promise this opportunity for us to creatively recharge (and to reconnect with our non-fictional families) will only be great for a story that we both care about deeply.
I’m so grateful to Eric Stephenson and everyone at Image Comics for supporting this hard choice, or colleague and perpetual savior Fonografiks for always having our back, and loyal readers like YOU, who have afforded independent creators like us the incredible luxury of telling serialized stories at whatever pace is right for our work. Most of all, I’m indebted to our retailer friends all over the world.
Though many in out audience might read this series in collected editions, Saga wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the comic stores that first displayed our monthly issues on their shelves and hand sold us to their customers”
At least the next year is going to be a LONG wait for Saga fans. Will they ever regain the momentum they’ve had? Will they decide to simply do OGNs or will they keep their word? We shall see.
Saga #54, the final issue of the series before this announced hiatus, is in comic shops this week.