“Saga Vol. 1” by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image Comics, 2012)

Saga Volume 1
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Brian K. Vaughan impressed the world with his fun and bestselling comic book series, Y the Last Man. Now he returns with a new series, partnering up with a female artist once again, this time with Fiona Staples, in Saga. A space opera science fiction original that at heart is a simple story, but is surrounded by a complex world with fascinating characters and a mythology that immediately sucks in the reader and always leaves them wanting more.

Marko is a ram-horned alien while Alana is a moth-winged alien. Their people have been fighting each other for a long time, to the point where their own worlds now choose to fight each other on other planets in distant galaxies. But Marko and Alana are unusual in that they are madly in love with each other. The first volume of Saga opens with the birth of their child and begins to be told from her viewpoint at an older age as she looks back on this tumultuous time.

It is soon discovered that these two opposite aliens not only love each other but have created a supposed abomination and they must be stopped at all costs. And so bounty hunters are employed to end them and cover up this horrific union that should never have happened.

Vaughan and Staples have clearly had a lot of fun creating a unique world with some very strange alien characters that are both interesting and enjoyable, such as a giant cat named Liar Cat, because it always knows when you are lying and will be sure to tell you. After reading this first volume, you won’t be surprised to discover it was one of the biggest selling graphic novels in 2012 and 2013, as well as winner of a number of awards. And thankfully, volume 2 is already out for you to get your hands on.

Originally written on April 19, 2014 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Saga Volume 1 from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

“The Sword Volume 1: Fire” by the Luna Brothers (Image, 2008)

The Sword
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Discovered on a recommendation from a friend, Fire is the first volume in the four-volume The Sword collection from the Luna Brothers.  The art style is good but not exceptional, the storytelling interesting in the way that great stories are: an captivating beginning that slowly deals out the details, hooking the reader in as they wonder what will happen next, until the full story is revealed to the reader’s complete and utter surprise.

Dara Brighton is an ordinary girl who has learned to live with being in a wheelchair very well, working her way through college and keeping her eye on the cute boys.  As she enjoys a hearty dinner with her family, three strangers of apparent strength and ability break into their home and accuse her father of hiding a secret sword.  He denies it, so the massacre begins as these strange assailants reveal their unbelievable powers, and Dara soon finds herself fighting for her life.  She ends up deep within the basement of her house; a place she hasn’t really searched before, and buried within it she finds the sword.  As she picks it up she feels the power run through her and miraculously stands up.

The first volume of The Sword series will hook any graphic novel fan, and the Luna Brothers reveal a good amount of explanation and back story at the end of Fire that will make the reader impatient to read the successive three volumes.

Originally written on December 30, 2011 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of The Sword: Fire from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

Now That’s What I Call . . . Closing! Volume 3

After the success of Volumes 1 and 2, and a bunch more songs to use, Volume 3 is a little different, as we move away somewhat from the “closing” theme and embody more a sense of the average bookseller in these trying times; the emotions they feel at what is happening . . . but enough diatribe, here is the song list for Volume 3:

  1. “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There is a Season)” by The Byrds
  2. “What Do You Want From Me” by Pink Floyd
  3. “Don’t Cry” by Guns ‘N’ Roses
  4. “Don’t Fear the Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult
  5. “Before You Accuse Me” by Eric Clapton
  6. “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica
  7. “The Thrill Is Gone” by B. B. King
  8. “The Show Must Go On” by Queen
  9. “Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M.
  10. “This Year” by The Mountain Goats
  11. “Always On My Mind” by Pet Shop Boys
  12. “Yesterday” by The Beatles
  13. “Is It Any Wonder” by Keane
  14. “That’s All” by Genesis
  15. “End of the Road” by Boyz II Men
  16. “Take This Job And Shove It” by Dead Kennedys
  17. “The Man Comes Around” by Johnny Cash
  18. “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” by Radiohead

Now That’s What I Call Closing! Volume 2

Well, the debut collection Now That’s What I Call . . . Closing Volume 1 has now gone platinum with over ten copies made!  And now we closely follow it with a strong contender in Now That’s What I Call Closing . . . .Volume 2, which some may say equals or possibly surpasses the original volume in its variety and popularity . . . but only time will tell.  With Volume 3 currently in the works, here’s the track list for Volume 2:

1. “Goodbye Blue Sky” by Pink Floyd
2. “Hit the Road Jack” by Ray Charles
3. “Should I Stay or Should I Go” by The Clash
4. “Time to Say Goodbye (Con Te Partiro) by Sarah Brighman, featuring Andrea Bocelli
5. “Don’t Give Up” by Peter Gabriel, featuring Kate Bush
6. “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve
7. “Times Like These” by Foo Fighters
8.  “Goodbye to You” by Michelle Branch
9.  “This Train Don’t Stop Here Anymore” by Elton John
10. “Ruby Tuesday” by The Rolling Stones
11. “It Was a Very Good Year” by Frank Sinatra
12. “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers
13. “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds
14. “On My Way” by Phil Collins
15. “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac
16. “Sounds of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel
17. “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton
18. “Leaving on a Jet Plane” by Mamas and the Papas
19. “In My Life” by The Beatles
20.”Goodbye Cruel World” by Pink Floyd