The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins (#1) by Clint McElroy

Published: 17th July 2018Goodreads badge
 First Second
Illustrator: Carey Pietsch
Pages: 256
Format: Paperback
★   ★   ★   ★   ★  – 5 Star

Welcome to the Adventure Zone!

SEE! The illustrated exploits of three lovable dummies set loose in a classic fantasy adventure!

READ! Their journey from small-time bodyguards to world-class artifact hunters!

MARVEL! At the sheer metafictional chutzpah of a graphic novel based on a story created in a podcast where three dudes and their dad play a tabletop role playing game in real time!

Join Taako the elf wizard, Merle the dwarf cleric, and Magnus the human warrior for an adventure they are poorly equipped to handle AT BEST, guided (“guided”) by their snarky DM, in a graphic novel that, like the smash-hit podcast it’s based on, will tickle your funny bone, tug your heartstrings, and probably pants you if you give it half a chance.

With endearingly off-kilter storytelling from master goofballs Clint McElroy and the McElroy brothers, and vivid, adorable art by Carey Pietsch, The Adventure Zone: Here There be Gerblins is the comics equivalent of role-playing in your friend’s basement at 2am, eating Cheetos and laughing your ass off as she rolls critical failure after critical failure. 

The Adventure Zone podcast is a love and obsession of mine. For years I have followed the McElroys and their work, inhaling anything they put out with enthusiasm. They satisfied my desire to experience D&D before I was able to get into a game myself. This is the beginning. The start of it all, the three year, emotional journey that I suffered through that was the best and most brilliant piece of creativity and storytelling I have ever had to honour of listening to.

This is not about that. This is about the graphic novel of that podcast and aside from a few legal changes to official D&D names this is still the beginning of the story I love. The podcast was adapted to graphic novel by Clint McElroy and it has all the joy that the podcast brings. It remains true to the story and is a wonderful start to what would be a seven story arc experience. This first installment has the introductions of our characters Taako, Magnus, and Merle and the beginnings of their hilarious antics. Aside from reliving this story again, the bonus of seeing it play out visually was fantastic. Pietsch has done a brilliant job and the designs of these characters feels true to their personalities. The colours are diverse and vibrant and seeing what I had imagined unfold in front of me was delightful. I also love that Dungeon Master Griffin gets to be included in visual form. His little figure hanging over them is amazing and the inclusion of the interactions with the players is part of the brilliant humour.

If you love this, then you should check out the podcast from the very beginning because it will take you on a wild ride and as the boys become more familiar with the game and Griffin develops his story it is such an emotional investment, you genuinely will have emotions as a result of this arc. If podcasts aren’t your thing, there will be a graphic novel of each of the chapters in the Balance Arc so we will be able to relive the mastery through all seven of these story arcs. I cannot wait to have all seven of these graphic novels sitting proudly on my shelf to swoon over.

To adjust a quote from Justin McElroy who commented at the conclusion of this epic adventure: “Thus ends begins the Adventure Zone Balance, the story of four idiots that played D&D so hard that they made themselves cry.” A great teaser about what is to come.

You can purchase The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins via the following

QBD | Booktopia | Book Depository

Dymocks | WorderyAngus and Robinson

 Fishpond | Amazon | Amazon Aust

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