“This is an original fantasy book with no superheroes, two non-white leads and an opening chapter featuring graphic robot sex. I thought we might be cancelled by our third issue.”
- Brian K. Vaughan (x)
Both Brian and Fiona have repeatedly said that their heroes are PoC. And of course it’s clear from Fiona’s illustrations that neither Alana nor Marko are white, but that Alana has darker skin than Marko.
The only featured/recurring character in the Saga universe who actually seems to have white skin is The Stalk.
However, I still come across white-washed Saga fan art and fancasting posts, which never cease to amaze and infuriate me. No matter how pretty the art, I will never repost that shit.
If people genuinely see these characters as white, they need to check their eyesight or their racism. And I doubt the optometrist will find any deficiencies.
Thanks for the ask. I haven’t had a good rant on this subject in a while!
Personal pet peeve is folks who think Marko is white. He ain’t.
Marko is meant to be Asian- more specifically, I combined features from a handful of Japanese models and actors when I was designing him. I can see why people sometimes mistake him for white, because I avoided using exaggerated racial markers (slanted eyes, rounded nose, etc). With simple cartoon drawings like these, a lot is left to the reader’s imagination. So I accept there will be some misidentification because I didn’t draw Marko’s family like Mulan characters, haha.
I see Alana as having mixed heritage. When I drew her father I was envisioning an Indian man. Her mother remains a mystery!
An answer from fionastaples herself!
(omg we are not worthy, etc!)
I am the first African American editor in comics.
I’m sorry if this somehow displeases you. I’m sorry if it causes you to involuntarily groan in annoyance at my bringing it up. These are common reactions among industry pros when I mention this fact. If it’s not true, by all means, please prove me wrong: I’ll be happy to celebrate whomever was the first black guy in, but it is a reasonable and important distinction for many African American fans and pros. I’m sorry if it annoys you, but it has significance for many of us.
I am also, to my knowledge, the first African-American writer in comics, though people in this biz are quick to haggle and parse that claim. I’m not sure why none of the various self- congratulatory histories of comics ever mention this. Amid all the wonderful histories that have been written, noting the pioneers of the Golden and Silver and Modern Ages, trumpeting these firsts, I am not mentioned anywhere. And, whenever I mention it myself, it is, every time, excised from the published text. I haven’t figured out if the companies think I’m arrogant in making the claim, or if they’re embarrassed to have been in business nearly fifty years before allowing a black man a seat in their front office.
“Every time I go see the comic book movie and I have a 3 year-old son and he’s always telling me he wants to be Spider-Man or Captain America. It’s unfair for little black kids not to have a superhero to look up to.
“When I got the call about the Falcon that was a no brainer. I feel that this is for a whole generation who has the opportunity to know a superhero like we did. We grew up with Spawn and Meteor Man. Every kid had a pot or can and thought they were Meteor Man, so I’m excited for a bunch of kids to say that I’m the Falcon.”