I had the opportunity to attend San Diego Comic-Con's Comics Arts Conference Session #9: Focus on Carey Pietsch: Comedy and Fantasy in Comics with Clint McElroy on July 20th, 2019. The panel was billed as an in-depth examination of Carey Pietsch's artistic process during the creation of The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins (an adaptation of the hugely popular podcast, The Adventure Zone, which features a family playing Dungeons & Dragons) with input from one of the book's authors, Clint McElroy.
During my adventure into San Diego Comic-Con 2019, I stopped by the Comics Arts Conference for the Comics Arts Conference Session #12: The Poster Session which was held on July 20th, 2019.
William Gibson’s Alien 3 answers a question I've had since I first saw Alien 3 on a dusty VHS. Alien and Aliens make up one of the greatest duologies of science fiction, but the original Alien 3 revealed the cracks in a franchise that has subsequently teetered between greatness and schlock. A few months ago, I learned that William Gibson had been called to write the screenplay in early drafts but was quickly dispatched from the project. His script was later revived and converted into the graphic novel we have today. I picked up this new (or old) iteration of Alien 3 to answer the question: "Could things have been different?"
At long last, the final issue of Ghost Tree is nearing release. I've reviewed this series from beginning to end, and, looking back, I couldn’t be more glad that I did. Some comics exist purely for entertainment while others strive to become transformative in their medium. Ghost Tree sits comfortably in the latter column, alongside other comics I’ve reviewed such as A Girl in the Himalayas, Green River Killer, and Waves. It’s series like these that show what the comic book genre can truly do.
If there has been a theme in the past ten years of Dungeons & Dragons, it’s been the struggle to bring accessibility to general audiences. While the game has experienced tremendous growth and acceptance and is now truly bordering the mainstream market, it still suffers from one major detractor: D&D is a complicated game and has a high barrier to entry. Dungeons & Dragons: Monsters & Creatures and Dungeons & Dragons: Warriors & Weapons are the latest in a long line of innovations that attempt to convert the game into something more palatable.
Young adult novels are a hit-or-miss sort of thing. Some are breakout successes that speak to any aged reader, and some barely appeal to the very audience they’re targeting. The best young adult stories seem to be the ones that find a balance between tackling big, heavy ideas while also capturing the fantastical elements of life.
We're back for round three of the Japanese ghost story known as Ghost Tree. I reviewed issues #1 and #2 a while back. Going in, I knew nothing about the series, only picking it up because of the appealing cover. I’ve since grown to love this series for its brilliant use of color and sincere look at Japanese culture. Ghost Tree #2 ramped up the intrigue and pacing, so Ghost Tree #3 needed to keep that momentum going if it was going to live up to the first half of this story.
Stranger Things, the hit Netflix series created by the Duffer Brothers, tapped into the heart of all that was the 1980s. Not just the neon-steeped '80s of California and New York, but a rural, homey '80s. A world where Dungeons and Dragons had just come to pass; where home computers were just about to change our lives; where the threat of world war had become a distant memory. It's little wonder the series became a runaway success. The combination of snappy dialogue, a breakout cast, and a penchant for turning tropes on their head was everything watchers had hoped for.
Art books and archives like the Final Fantasy Ultimania Archive series are a treasure trove of information for creative minds. Even ignoring the value the book has as a piece of art itself, the small insights into the creative process of some of your favorite stories can be invaluable. I've been a fan of the Final Fantasy series for as long as I can remember, and I've often revealed in learning more about the creative process behind each game. To that end, I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Final Fantasy Ultimania Archive Volume 3, which focuses on the 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th installments in the series.
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to review Our Super Adventure: Press Start to Begin. While doing so, my love of the artwork of Sarah Graley was rekindled. So, imagine my excitement when Minecraft: Volume 1 appeared on my radar with Graley's unmistakable style gracing the cover.