Dated Dec 11, 2021; last modified on Sat, 29 Jul 2023

Saga. Brian Vaughan; Fiona Staples. . . .

Volumes 1, 2, 3, 6, 7 and 9 have been nominated for the the Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story. A 6/9 nomination rate implies that the comic is pretty good!

Themes (Mostly War)

Planet Landfall (Alana’s) and Wreath (its moon, Marko’s) have been in conflict as long as anyone can remember. Destroying either would send the other out of orbit, so they make peace at home, but outsource the combat to foreign lands. Most locals didn’t really think about the battles being waged in their names in distant lands. [Hazel] Everyone still supported the troops, of course, but in a more… abstract way than times past. For most folks back on Landfall, war was something that would never directly impact their lives.

Consequences being borne by groups that are not responsible for them. IRL: developing countries that dispropotionately bear the consequences of climate change, despite not contributing as much to it?

[Izabel] My parents built [the tunnels] to hide the resistance from invaders like you guys. [Alana] Back up, your family were terrorists? [Izabel] I think I prefer “freedom fighters,” but whatevs. Marko, on seeing action, has misgivings about the war, but Gwendolyn (in her letters back) encorages him to “fight the good fight”. [Gwendolyn, insincerely] Marko’s actions have sulleid The Narrative and disgraced the memories of every soldier who’s given their life for our moon.

Use of rhetoric that villifies the outgroup, while praising the in-group, to maintain support of a war. See Orwell’s criticism of at-home war language like “ELIMINATION OF UNDESIRABLE ELEMENTS” .

Jingoism: nationalism in the form of aggressive and proactive foreign policy in efforts to safeguard what it perceives as its national interests. Originated in George William Hunt’s “Jingo Song”, which was popular in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78:

We don’t want to fight but by Jingo if we do

We’ve got the ships, we’ve got the men, we’ve got the money too

We’ve fought the Bear before, and while we’re Britons true

The Russians shall not have Constantinople!

[Special Agent Gale] Madame President thinks a Landfallian soldier literally sleeping with the enemy will make for pretty shitty optics as voters head to the polls.

[Prince Robot IV] You’re being coy, Heist. [A Nighttime Smoke] is obviously a thinly veiled treatise on radical pacifism, a compelling - if not entirely persuasive - call to inaction. [Heist] Kiddo, I hate disabusing anyone of the notion I’m a genius, but I swear to you, that story was about one thing and one thing only: A quick fucking paycheck.

Alana and Marko fell in love while she was a guard, and Marko a prisoner. She was reading “A Nighttime Smoke”, a story about socioeconomically unlikely lovers living a mundane life together. In this case, she got more out of the book than Heist ever envisioned. In Heist’s words, “Well, you know what they say, the reader is the final collaborator.”

[Dorf] That makes no sense. Why now? Upsher and I have covered way worse crap done by both sides. [The Brand] Exactly. It’s the stories with no sides that worry them.


But ideas are fragile things. Most don’t live outside of the ether from whuch they were pulled, kicking and screaming. That’s why people create with someone else. Two minds can sometimes improve the odds of an idea’s survival, but there are no guarantees. Anyway, this is the day I was born.

Personification of ideas as entities. Makes the reader ponder abstract things, and then the “Anyway…” brings them back to reality.


  1. Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story. . Accessed Dec 11, 2021.
  2. Saga Vol 1 #1. Brian Vaughan; Fiona Staples. . 2012-03-01.
  3. Saga Vol 1 #3. Brian Vaughan; Fiona Staples. . May 1, 2012.
  4. Saga Vol 1 #4. Brian Vaughan; Fiona Staples. . Jun 1, 2021.
  5. Jingoism. . Accessed Dec 11, 2021.
  6. Saga Vol 2 #9. Brian Vaughan; Fiona Staples. . Jan 9, 2013.
  7. Saga Vol 2 #12. Brian Vaughan; Fiona Staples. . Apr 1, 2013.
  8. Saga Vol 3 #17. Brian Vaughan; Fiona Staples. . Dec 1, 2013.
  9. Saga Vol 1 25. Brian Vaughan; Fiona Staples. . Accessed Dec 11, 2021.