Saga by Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples

Saga.StapletonI had no idea what I was going to read for our graphic novel category, but before I even had time to fret about it, the lovely Rosie came to my rescue—she sent me the first volume of Saga through the mail. Snail mail no less!

And I’m going to tell you right now, I’m glad she did.

It’s a strange story about love and family in a universe that’s totally bonkers, but from the first frame it effortlessly transports you to a world that you’re inexplicably fascinated by. Cyborgs with human bodies and computer screens for heads are royalty, alligators are butlers, horns and wings are typical human appendages, bounty hunters have eight legs and no arms or a lie-detecting cat, and ghosts are a secret weapon in an age-old war (and great babysitters). Its universe-so-crazy-you-can’t-help-but-accept-whatever-comes-next aesthetic has garnered more than a few comparisons to Star Wars, and I totally see where they’re coming from.

It’s creative and crazy and violent and sentimental. It’s jam packed with fully realized characters that are neither good nor bad, but who are fighting in accordance to their orders, their moral code, or their desire to be free of a senseless war. Oh, and it’s absolutely beautiful and unexpectedly funny. I can’t wait to get into Volume Two and beyond.

No. 25 on my challenge. Thank you, Rosie!


13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi


This was nothing if not a Michael Bay film, and I unabashedly love Michael Bay films. I also love movies based on true stories, films about heroism, brotherhood, and war, and a lot of action, so this movie got two thumbs way way up from me. Not to mention John Krasinski’s talent and general appearance.

Jason P. Howe

I’m currently reading A House in the Sky, Amanda Lindhout’s memoir of the 460 days she spent as a hostage of Islamist insurgents in war-torn Somalia. So far it’s been utterly captivating, but I’ll save that for my review. Before she was kidnapped, Amanda went on assignment in Kandahar as a freelance photographer and war correspondent. There, she met Jason P. Howe, who, she explains, “went on to hit the big time, selling photos to all the major newspapers—Le Figaro, the Times of London, the New York Times.”

Curious if I’d perhaps seen his work, I looked him up and found his incredible photography. His images are powerful, intriguing, and poignant. Here are a few, but I urge you to explore his work for yourself.