Robot 6

‘Saga’ wins 2013 Hugo Award


Saga, Vol. 1, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, won the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story, presented over the weekend at LoneStarCon 3 in San Antonio, Texas. Paul Cornell served as the toastmaster.

Presented annually since 1955 by the World Science Fiction Society, the prestigious Hugo Awards recognize the best in science fiction and fantasy.

Published by Image Comics, the bestselling Saga follows two soldiers from opposite sides of an intergalactic war who fall in love and risk everything for their newborn daughter, and in the process become fugitives on the run from their own governments. The title was one of the big winners at this year’s Eisner Awards, earning nods for Best Continuing Series, Best New Series, and Best Writer.

The other nominees in the Best Graphic Story category were: Grandville Bête Noire, by Bryan Talbot (Dark Horse, Jonathan Cape); Locke & Key, Vol. 5: Clockworks, by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW Publishing); Schlock Mercenary: Random Access Memorabilia, by Howard Tayler and Travis Walton (Hypernode Media); and Saucer Country, Vo. 1: Run, by Paul Cornell, Ryan Kelly, Jimmy Broxton and Goran Sudžuka (Vertigo).

The other comics-related winner was Marvel’s The Avengers, written and directed by Joss Whedon, which received the Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form.



Whatever my own problems with Saga are, I am thrilled for BKV and Fiona in winning what may or may not be seen as a fairly prestigious award (prestigious enough that Hugo-winning novels are declared as such in bookstores). Does anyone know if either were at the con?

This marks the first time that the Hugo for “graphic story” – a terrible name for the category – has been won by something the comics industry loves, too. Previous winners include something called Schlock Mercenary, which I know nothing about, and Girl Genius, which did so well that Phil Foglio stopped accepting nominations but is not much of a hit with fans of mainstream comics. This is also the first time that something that originated in print won.

Based on how the Hugos work, look for Saga, like Schlock Mercenary and Girl Genius and Fables, to be nominated every year for a while. (The Hugos tend to reward previous nominees a bit too often. It’s like how Tom Hanks would get Oscar noms just for blinking.)

The HUGO Awards and the voting body tends to be pretty insular and its not surprising something as fanservice as Girl Genius would win over and over. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but BEST? Really HUGO’s? Really? It’s only voted on by paying fans and pros of the World Science Fiction Convention.

I’m glad SAGA took the award this time, it’s truly deserving.

Locke & Key is more accomplished but I guess there isn’t enough sex in it for the Hugo panel

For the love of God does ANYBODY NOT think this comic is great? I dislike it and I think im the only one.

No, Roblewmac, you are not alone. I didn’t like the R-rated nature of issue one of Saga, and to my surprise my somewhat more open minded wife wasn’t really grabbed either. As I said, I have problems with it.

But never with BKV, who is talented and smart and good to the fans and practically giving away the entertaining Private Eye comic as an example of How to Use PDFs. I just wish he would admit he is actually Grant Morrison’s American twin.

@Simon DelMonte

BKV is a decent writer. Morrison had some good ideas back in the day but it has been a LONG time since he’s put out anything special.


I meant that BKV and Grant literally look like each other. Bald, thin, and sharply dressed.


While I do like Saga, it is pretty juvenile a lot of the time and is hardly the masterpiece so many want to believe it is.

I think they deserve the Hugo. I get that some people might not like the adult material. I find the story is unlike anything I’ve read in comics before. The characters are flawed and “human”. The art is beautiful.

For what it’s worth, I don’t like Saga. Too bad Hypernaturals wasn’t nominated. I understand the buzz over Saga, though, and like others, appreciate the appreciation at awards time. Just not my cup of tea.

Hell yeah! There are some bumps, but it’s one of the few comics to meet my expectations every time I read it, barring those few bumps.

I will say that Saga for me is a ton of fun, although I wish the backgrounds were rendered differently. There are too many scenes of scale that just don’t feel that way.

If ever Image will publish a hardcover deluxe edition of Saga–I’m HOOKED!

I personally love saga. I think it gets the attention it does because, like someone suggested above, it’s unique and original and something that’s been unseen in this medium- if not ever than in a long long time. The characters are fully rounded and the plot and setting epic while at the same personal. I compare my first read of it to seeing Star Wars for the first time quite often. If any series moves this medium towards more genres and recognition for stories about something other than superheros by the mainstream, I think it will be SAGA.

LeoComix: There’s no “Hugo Panel” It’s voted on by paying supporters of Worldcon. If you buy a membership, you get a vote.

I’m a comics fan who was an sf/f fan first, and I’d point out that “Graphic Story” is a new Hugo category (introduced 2009), and will probably become continually more relevant in the future. “Digger” won last year, and while that didn’t come from a major comics publisher, it had been nominated for a few Eisner awards, and if it isn’t loved by the comics industry, it should be. I think it’s almost as significant an epic fantasy comic as Bone, and I like it more. Non-webcomic readers will get a chance to be introduced to it soon, when the omnibus edition of the entire thing (approximately Bone-length) is released (currently, it’s available in six TPBs, but they’re a bit less attractive packages than the omnibus).

The Hugo award voters tend to prefer standalone or introductory works, and many who vote will not be comics experts, so it will probably never be as significant for comics creators as the Eisners. However, many sf/f readers are inclined to check out Hugo Award winners, so victories in the category could definitely net worthy comics new readers.

The Unwritten has been nominated twice (for a couple of its better TPBs), and I’m hopeful that Locke & Key could win next year for its concluding volume. The first Manhattan Projects TPB unfortunately did not make the nomination cut this year, but it was close, so if that book stays high quality, it has a shot, too.

Simon: Not only were Vaughan and Staples not at Worldcon, they didn’t even designate someone to accept the award in their stead or send a statement. I keep being surprised this isn’t getting any coverage; there might be a good reason*, but it’s a rather tacky snub as it stands. (Joss Whedon sent TWO statements in case either of his nominated works won, and George R. R. Martin brought Gregor Clegane as an honor guard.)

Josh S., “The Unwritten: Tommy Taylor and the War of Words” just barely missed being nominated. Shame that it wasn’t–it’s the best story in Unwritten so far. And I would be amazed if Locke & Key: Alpha and Omega doesn’t win next year.

*In 2001, J. K. Rowling did not send an acceptor for the Hugo Award for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Shortly after the convention, she sent an open letter indicating that it wasn’t a deliberate snub. Instead, she never received the nomination because her assistants didn’t realize what an important award it was; for all the subsequent volumes of the series, the Hugo is listed first among the hundreds of honors the books have received.

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