The question every employee gets asked at Forbidden Planet multiple times daily is, “Is the new Saga out?” Finally, all of us can tell you relentless readers out there, “YES!” Get your tissues and favorite reading spot ready because it’s time to dive back into the life and times of Hazel. After the traumatic events of the War for Phang, Hazel, her parents, and their surviving companions embark on a life-changing adventure at the westernmost edge of the universe. And where the heck Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples are taking us next is anybody’s guess.
What has been the appeal of Saga? I haven’t seen the numbers yet but I’m going to be surprised if it isn’t the top-selling series at Forbidden Planet this year. And even in single issues it’s still a top seller. There’re few fandoms that capture as many as fervently as this series does. More impressively, the appeal crosses all gender lines and most age demographics. The new law of the universe is: Everybody at least likes Saga, if not loves Saga. There are so many other titles out there, from over thirty publishers printing material monthly, that have been searching desperately to get a tenth of this kind of staying power. Next to none do. So, what is it about this series that separates it from all others?
I think the only answer can be found in continuing to read. Not just to read Saga itself but also to keep reading the new offerings out there waiting to be discovered. One of the many accomplishments of this book has been breaking down barriers about the perceptions of what audiences are willing spend their dollars on. Original world with new characters nobody’s ever heard of? Fantasy? No gimmicky covers? An artist who, at the time, wasn’t a household name? Except for the writer, Saga didn’t have what most marketing departments at publishers would consider signs of a breakout hit.
And here we are, eight volumes later, with dozens of other books that have graced our book shelves because of its success. Some mysteries of the universe aren’t complicated. When stories are great and they hit at the exact right time, you have a phenomenon on your hand.