For the uninitiated, Saga is batshit crazy. The space opera centers on two star-crossed alien lovers who give birth to a little, hybrid baby, and its highly stylized approach -- think Star Wars meet Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet -- sets it apart from everything else in the sci-fi canon. There are bounty hunters, treehouse rocketships, bipedal seals with sweaters, and giant space fetuses known as "Timesucks." They’re all part of a bigger picture that tackles love, sex, family, racism, politics, and addiction. It’s heavy stuff and one that continues to induce Tumblr theses on "How Saga Made Me Feel And Threw Me Out Of A Fucking Window." For writer Brian K. Vaughan and illustrator Fiona Staples, it’s just the beginning of a much larger story they need to tell.
The series’ 50th consecutive issue arrives March 28 (via Image Comics), and to commemorate, Thrillist exchanged words with Vaughan, discussing the series' progression, the duo’s fondness for "taking hard turns" from genre to genre, and how the Saga universe is just getting started.
Thrillist: In 2012, you told Wired that Saga was "a disease of mine" and not something you would necessarily share with anyone. In the early stages of development, did you and Fiona would tell the story for this long?
Brian K. Vaughan: I’m neurotic enough to always think that anything I write will be immediately canceled. But once I saw Fiona’s first few breathtaking pages for our debut issue, I felt pretty confident that we’d have enough support to tell our entire saga.
Early on, were there any plans to take the series in a different direction?
Vaughan: Not really. I had a contingency plan to end the series -- quickly and poorly -- if our sales were abysmal, but thankfully we’ve been able to stick to my original roadmap fairly faithfully. Though we’ve taken a few slight detours and picked up a couple of unexpected hitchhikers along the way, and almost always because of something brilliant Fiona suggested.
Did characters such as Alana and Marko -- and even others like The Will and Prince Robot IV -- change from conception to execution?
Vaughan: When we started working together, I described those characters to Fiona in the most general terms -- Alana has wings, Marko has horns, Prince Robot has a television for a head -- and she turned around and made them fully formed, three-dimensional people. For example, my original concept of The Will was a fairly boilerplate bounty hunter. But as soon as I saw Fiona’s first image of that cape-wearing goof with his hairless sidekick, he immediately became more complex as you couldn’t help but see the frightened, damaged child hiding behind that tough-guy facade.