Saga, vol. 1

Brian K. Vaughn (Runaways, Y: The Last Man) returns to comics with a very clever SF/fantasy fusion called Saga, illustrated by Canadian artist Fiona Staples. It’s the tale of Hazel, newborn daughter to soldiers on opposite sides of a galactic war; father Marko is from a race of men with horns who wield magic, and mother Alana is from a race of winged humanoids. Hazel narrates the story of her own birth as her fugitive parents try to escape from soldiers, bounty hunters and other dangers.

If this sounds a bit like Star Wars, it should; Vaughn first conceived of the series when he was a child, and has described it as “Star Wars for perverts” due to its adult content. I was initially lukewarm about the fit of Fiona Staples’ artwork for this series, feeling that the style of a P. Craig Russell or Charles Vess might be more suitable; but Staples quickly grew on me for her rendering of the various alien races that she and Vaughn have designed. It’s a hell of a ride and I am looking forward to the next volume.

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Chi’s Sweet Home

I happened across the first volume of Chi’s Sweet Home by Konami Kanata at Little Island Comics in Toronto, and picked it up because a quick scan indicated that it was one of the most adorable comics I have ever seen. It is the tale of a curious kitten who gets separated from her mother and siblings one day near a park; fortunately she is found by a wayward child and taken in by his family, with the intention of finding her a permanent family since they cannot keep pets in their building. They have trouble finding an adopter, however, and eventually decide to keep the kitten (named “Chi” – Japanese for “pee” – by the child who is potty training).

The book is told entirely from Chi’s point of view, and Kanata does a great job of depicting the sorts of challenges and feelings that a kitten might have, from separation anxiety to litterbox issues and visiting the vet. It is not always as lighthearted as you might assume, so I would not recommend it for very young children (ie., preschool), but it is very true and touching, in the same vein as Patrick McDonnell’s Mutts comic strip.