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Posted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:29 pm
by Stocky Boy
First non Marvel and non DC book thread / review-thingey in ages!

So, Saga is a book by our much beloved BKV who left our comic realm to pursue more lucrative written work in the world of TV. He's back with Saga a book set in a world where many space fairing planets exist. One planet is at war with the inhabitants of its moon and our story centers around an unlikely coupling who were brought together from the war from opposite ends. The book is narrated by the child of the couple, which assures us that the child survives this 'saga' at least.
This world consists of many future spectacular technology as well as mystical and all around fantastical and bizarre. The royal species that featured in the first arc quite bizarre and present a rather unique way of expressing emotion with their 'faces'.
The couple have broken their own world's laws, bounty hunters have been sent after them. The story is about their avoidance of capture and survival. During their escape from their authorities and pursuing hunters, they've brought together an interesting group of supporting characters such as a ghost girl, family members and an extraordinary ship. The pursuing authorities have brought their own interesting tales to be enjoyed such as the relationship between hired bounty hunters and the main hunter and his partner a truth revealing cat.

I've really been enjoying this.

Posted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 3:38 pm
by wolf_2099
Awesomeness in comic form

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:28 am
by MGM
While highly enjoyable, I seem to enjoy this less than most people/reviewers do. Not sure why.

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:32 am
by wolf_2099
I didn't like it at first, I have really grown to like it, though.

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:27 am
by jedispyder
One of my favorite comics out there.

Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:50 am
by Mr Wallstreet
I’ve been enjoying Saga. It’s got the look of a large scale Disney film: wild landscapes, fantastical creatures, strange enemies and even stranger allies. That is has testicle faced giants makes it funnier. It’s a departure from Vaughan’s other work like Y, Runaways or Ex Machina; which featured original concepts. Saga’s central theme is the classic star-crossed lover’s angle. Everything else (as funny/weird as it may be) is window dressing designed to support and elevate the main story and characters – and in its weaker moments designed to distract from the very fact it’s not an original idea.

The heroes are likeable so I have no problem following their adventures. The antagonists are compelling and they’re not all evil. Some have shades of gray and are sympathetic so it’s hard to dismiss them. Some are more hateable than others.

I don’t have anything negative really to say about this book. It’s an enjoyable read.
And now – with controversy! Did anyone read about Apple’s censorship of the latest issue of Saga?

Without getting too spoiler heavy, there was an explicit sex act being performed that is blocked out on the digital copies.

It seems like a pointless thing to do. At best, Apple should require proof of age in order to purchase it. Censoring the comic just devalues the hard work that went into it from the entire creative team. Apple is treating it like porn by censoring it. There is so much more filth readily available on the internet that it’s silly that a single panel from a legitimate publication is getting censored. Now, I haven’t yet purchased the comic so I don’t know exactly what the image is or the context surrounding it but I’m willing to give Vaughan the benefit of the doubt that it wasn’t some throwaway scene he put in there just to be shocking.



Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:48 am
by wolf_2099
I did.

Considering the sex act being depicted, I am not surprised. I cannot think of a single reason for that to be shown in a comic.

Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:45 pm
by Stocky Boy
At the risk of spoiling the issue for myself, I decided to seek out the image(s) in question.
The New Statesman has an article on Apple's censorship and the images in quesiton can be found linked in the article (to CBR funnily enough):

I don't mind it.
I'd rather not see dudes blowing dudes and cum-facials from dude on dude action. But, I think, as mentioned in the article the juxtaposition of a hardcore sex act between gays against the backdrop of a battlefield medical emergency is funny.
It's also fair to say that something of equal sexual promiscuity was depicted in an early issue (image also found linked in the article) where you see an orgy taking place. Perhaps some people think a cumshot is more hardcore than a champagne bottle up the arse. Maybe it is. But those depictions of sex are close enough in terms of vividness, which leaves only the sexual orientation of the scenes as the only notable difference between them.
Maybe #12 was banned instead of, what I think is #4 for unintentionally inconsistent reasons. However, if there is any degree of control checking going on and it was intentional that the earlier issues' scene was seen as permissable for purchase from Apple, but not the gay one, well that smacks of homophobia.

And anyway, never mind whether it offends people. So what if anyone is offended by anything? It should be a person's choice to buy the issue at the regular market place or not buy it. Apple should not be censoring and taking the decision away from us - the customer can make their own mind up.

Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:57 pm
by wolf_2099
That sex scene is graphic enough, I understand apples hesitancy to carry it, when they have so many under age users. Someone getting a load blown in their face, whether guy or girl, is pretty damn graphic. The scene in issue 12 is crass, while the orgy is not so much, despite both being very, very sexual. Their company, their call.

However, it is stuff like this that is why I no longer buy apple products, so there is that. I don' fault them for it, I just don't buy anything from them either.

Apple controls their brand recognition with an iron fist, including content. It is thier right to not want to distribute something.

A company choosing not to carry someone isn't a free speech issue.

I wanted to say again, but with sheer amount of underage users on apple products, I really can understand why they decided to censor it.

Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:21 pm
by Stocky Boy
It really shouldn't be up to Apple though.
It's one thing to decide what you want your company to sell. It's another thing to control the marketplace where things get sold and decide for a another company what product will or won't be sold at the marketplace.
By controlling the market and having things to sell of their own, Apple control a lot of the supply chain. It's not up to them to make the rules. Enforce, sure, but not make them.

One interesting point here is that if it was just as easy to buy the comic digitally elsewhere, it probably wouldn't be as big an issue that Apple took it off of their market, because the consumer would still have a choice to buy it from another shop.
Even if this was the case though, the matter of the call of acceptable expression really doesn't belong to Apple to make for the entire marketplace. For apple the product manufacturer, sure, but not Apple the marketplace.

The issue with under age purchases should be simple. You do what porn sites do and have the age question. Obviously, you can put in whatever age you like, but it's a checkbox designed to warn the consumer of adult material.
Also, if this book has been classified as 'regular comic' then the fault lies with the classification and it should be explicit to people browsing the product that the book is for adults.

Oh I double checked. There's no cum shot. Just a lot of erect dongs and a gaping mouth. :)

Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:32 pm
by jedispyder
They're ok with the penetration shown on Sextillion in an earlier issue but not with the 2 postage sized images of gay oral sex?

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:09 pm
by Mr Wallstreet
Nailed it.

And one of the sex scenes on Sextillion shows 2 women performing oral sex on one guy - which can be construed as lesbianism. So Apple is perhaps okay with lesbianism but not dude on dude action? Double (Triple) standard?

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 4:19 pm
by wolf_2099
jedispyder wrote:They're ok with the penetration shown on Sextillion in an earlier issue but not with the 2 postage sized images of gay oral sex?

This, I would like an explanation to, as well as most others it seem.

While I do think they can not carry 12 if they wanted, why did 4 sneak past the censors?

Posted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:46 pm
by Mr Wallstreet
It turns out apple had not banned BKVs issue of Saga but comixology themselves had interpreted apple's extensive Terms of Service to mean that anything remotely resembling pornography would be banned. This then assumes that comixology deemed the issue to be pornographic.

Apple has since clarified the issue stating they have no problem with BKVs issue of Saga and it has been available for download. This still raises some problems: why did comixology say that apple themselves had banned the issue when in fact they were the perpetrators?

Secondly: previous issues depict people engaging in graphic heterosexual sex while this one shows gay sex. Double standard.

I'm also not a fan of comixology being the only provider of legally downloadable digital material. It's a monoloply for all intents and purposes and that doesn't sit we'll with me

Posted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:51 pm
by Stocky Boy
I didn't read any update on this, but according to the House to Astonish guys, it turns out that the problem was Comixology. They didn't put it up assuming that it would contravene Apple's guidelines. Whether this assumption was innocent and the communication out to BKV or Image was just a sake of miscommunication (BKV was under the impression that it was Apple that took the issue down) we'll never know.