Rating: 10/5 stars
(which still doesn’t seem high enough)
Series: The Adventure Zone Graphic Novels, Book 2
Genres: D&D, Graphic Novel, Fantasy, Fiction, Humor
If you haven’t checked out the The Adventure Zone podcast yet, I highly recommend you do. This book covers the second arc of the Balance campaign and is just as good – if not better than – the first arc in the story. After all, the boys are starting to get a handle on things… sort of.
Picking up right after the events of Here There Be Gerblins, we get to go along with Taako, Magnus, and Merle as they work with the amazing boy detective (and fan favourite) they meet on the train in order to solve a grizzly murder. Once again Carey brings the story to life with her fantastic drawing ability and her affinity for getting their nuanced characteristics just so.
I have to admit, some of the best part of this book is what’s happening in the background of the frames. Whether it’s primping or in-fiction inside jokes from the podcast, Carey makes it feel natural for the originally audio-medium story to be brought to the page.
As the reader you get to witness Magnus rushing, Taako being Taako, and Merle almost healing. You get a little more insight into why the Tres Horny Boys are the way that they are. Who doesn’t love insight into their favourite characters?
Griffin once again shows his mastery with word through his amazing storytelling and scene building. As the book keeps basically 100% true to the podcast (with only a few tweaks since we don’t get to hear Travis, Clint, or Justin making their jokes and changing their minds), Carey brings Griffin’s story into bright focus. The reader is able to see in detail everything that the boys have to describe over the podcast.
The artwork also allows the reader to get a better grasp on the world itself, through zoom outs that didn’t necessarily get focus on the podcast and camera placement itself. Yes, Griffin has a mastery in his words and I wouldn’t change that for the world (after all, it was his words that made me feel feels and fall in love with this world in the first place), but working together with Carey enabled the story to get another layer of depth I didn’t realize I was missing out on. My mind’s eye might have been able to picture the scenes while listening to the podcast, but this book does a much better job at tying the scenes together.
If you haven’t given The Adventure Zone a try yet, I highly recommend that you do. If you’re a fan of fantasy and creativity, I’m sure you’ll fall in love with all of the characters and the story itself. I’ve personally listened to the Balance campaign three times now and each time I love it more than the last.