The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins
Clint McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Justin McElroy, Travis McElroy, Carey Pietsch, 2018
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" 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. Welcome to the Adventure Zone!
Full disclosure, I have listened to the The Adventure Zone: Balance podcast. And I love it. Also, I am not a gamer.
This is a comic book based on the McElroy's podcast The Adventure Zone: Balance, which is a Dungeons and Dragons podcast. Here There Be Gerblins is the first of eight chapters in the Balance arc (the second chapter, Murder on the Rockport Limited was released this year). This is a hard book to review for a number of reasons, but mostly because I think that your enjoyment of this book is largely dependent on if you've listened to the podcast or not. I think that the D&D storytelling method works better as a podcast than it does as a comic, so if you're going into this story as a comic only, I'm not sure how well it plays. I think that it would still be enjoyable, but probably a few aspects are lost.
However, as a fan of the podcast and therefore already knowing the story, I loved seeing it translated into a comic. I think that they did a great job bringing the story to the page and I thought that Carey Pietsch's artwork was quite good.
So here's where I'm at for a recommendation:
Do you need to be a gamer to enjoy this story? Not at all (I've never played D&D in my life)
Do you need to have listened to the podcast to enjoy the comic? Probably not.
Will you find the comic more enjoyable if you listen to the podcast first? I believe so.
But it's a hell of a fun podcast, so I recommend that, too. I'm glad that they were able to make a comic and I'll definitely be reading the rest as soon as they become available. (I'm reading the second volume now.)