The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins
Credit: The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins; First Second, 2018.

The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins Review

The boys are back again in their new adventure, but this time, it’s not the regular podcast you’re familiar with. The newest invention to hit the shelves at your local Fantasy Costco is free to purchase! If you can sneak past Garfield, that is. Welcome to The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins!

A Proficiency in Storytelling

The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins follows the misadventures of three guys thrown into unexpected circumstances. The comic is based off of the popular Dungeons & Dragons podcast created by Griffin, Justin, Travis, and Clint McElroy. Adapted and drawn by Carey Pietsch, we watch an elven TV star, a dwarf claiming to be a cleric, and a heroic human uncover the truth behind what they considered a simple job.

Magnus, Taako, and Merle start their adventure after being tasked an easy mission to deliver goods to Haverdale. It takes a sharp turn when they find the horses of their accomplices, Bogard and Barry Bluejeans, dead. They are soon face to face with a gang of gerblins and their leader, G’nash.

After recovering Barry Bluejeans, he lets the three in on a secret once they arrive in Haverdale. One travel montage later, they are in another cave looking for valuable treasure…oh, and Bogard too, of course. They find the vault they are looking for along with Bogard. However, when a mystic relic is the only thing remaining, the adventure throws them into another loop.

Who is that orc hiding from them? Why is Bogard suddenly a huge ball of fire? What is the true nature of that relic they find in the vault? Why are some words suddenly static to them? Find out all the answers to these questions and more in The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins!

Roll for Comic Book Adaption

This book only covers the first six episodes of the entire adventure. With that in mind, it still makes a few adjustments in comparison to the original podcast.

Right off the bat, I notice the bugbear, who is the head of the gang, G’nash. While reading his name, I didn’t recognize it, nor could I hear it in Griffin McElroy’s voice. However, I now realize this character is based off of another character in the podcast named Klarg. This is the only character I’ve noticed with a name change in The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins.

The fight with Magic Brian is almost what I had hoped for. I wasn’t dissatisfied with it, but I wish they had kept a couple things they cut. For example: When the boys kick Magic Brian into the well, he monologues while he is falling. I understand the long monologue had to be cut down,  but they should have kept more of it in. It would’ve made the scene more humorous if they had shrunk the text as he was falling. In the comic, they appear rather serious when dealing with Magic Brian. However, I remember they were laughing their asses off as Griffin continued the monologue.

It is no easy feat to cut down such a large, word-heavy podcast into a single book. I can continue comparing the comic book to the podcast, but I believe the adaption is done very well.  I am looking forward to the next edition of The Adventure Zone.

What’s Your Artistic Modifier?

The art of The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins is a unique style done by Carey Pietsch. Many fans expressed their disappointment at the first release of the character designs, resulting in a design change for the adaption. I bring this up because, while I enjoy the current designs of Magnus and Merle, Taako feels out of place with his design choice. The green skin makes him stand out among the three and clashes with the pink and purple garb he fashions constantly. He would feel more humanoid to the reader if he was given a natural skin tone.

The line art is simple which is very common for a large comic book project done by one artist. The coloring is also simple in certain parts of the comic but when the color matters, it’s incredible what is portrayed. A cleanup artist wouldn’t hurt though as there are areas where color escapes the line art or the line art escapes a panel. The simple nature of the colors and the artwork really adds to the story and hammers in that this podcast started  like a comedy.

All in all, the work done by Carey Pietsch to illustrate this podcast is incredible and to do it alone is a feat itself. I look forward to the artistic choices in the next volume and the characters we are soon to meet.

The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins – Critical Hit or Critical Failure?

I was very impressed by the comic book adaption of the popular Dungeons & Dragons podcast, The Adventure Zone. While reading the comic book is nothing like listening to the podcast, it gives people the opportunity to read some of the adventures this family created from nothing. If you follow the original podcast or want to dip your toes into this adventure, I highly suggest picking up a copy at your local bookstore or wherever you buy comics online.

If you want to experience the original podcast, you can find it on their Maximum Fun page or wherever you listen to podcasts. Want to read more comic reviews? Click here! Finally, would you join the Bureau of Balance if given the chance?

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