“Saga” #8 is an issue where not that much happens in the grand scheme of things. Fortunately that doesn’t matter, because Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples have mastered the art of conveying a level of affection for not only the characters, but their relationships with one another.
The first part of “Saga” #8 is devoted to a flashback showing how Alana and Marko first met. Vaughan plays with some of the typical romantic cliches in this section; he sets it up to go in a direction you’d expect and then without warning shifts things onto a different path. It’s a reminder above all else on how in just eight issues Alana and Marko have become full-fledged characters that you care about — the book can swerve off in a direction like this and end up being fun.
Then again, this is a comic where a conversation between Alana and Marko’s father can prove to be attention-grabbing too, even when the topic includes him creating new outfits for them to wear. Vaughan’s gift for dialogue comes off of the page in a natural, inviting manner. If anything, it’s the one action scene in the comic with Marko and his mother that ends up feeling the weakest in the issue; it’s not that it’s bad, but rather that it feels somehow a bit slower than everything else we witness, even though that’s the portion that involves trying to find Izabel again.
Staples draws “Saga” with her usual skill; nice thin lines, some hysterical expressions, and a good sense of body language. Perhaps the best example of that is the cover for “Saga” #8 with Alana sitting on a piece of military hardware, reading a book and blowing some bubblegum. It’s a great mixture of being attentive yet relaxing, and this combination of on-the-job and kicking back just looks top-notch. Even the letters from Fonografiks get in on the action; little bits like the narrative line, “This is how my parents met,” be used to connect their gazes feels both brilliant and retroactively obvious at the same time. This is a book that understands the strength of the comic book medium and uses it.
“Saga” #8 is another fun, if perhaps quiet issue. Not every issue can have tons of things happening, and this little break might not be as memorable as some of the previous issues, but that’s all right. It’s still fun, and a good way to wrap up the year.