Ansel Elgort may be moving from YA sci-fi to fantasy role-playing games.
Dungeons and Dragons
You know what would be a vast improvement over that other Dungeons and Dragons movie that you probably (rightfully) forgot? The immediate response is “anything,” of course, but also: fun. You know what was fun? Last year’s Goosebumps movie, which managed to take the vast possibilities of R.L. Stine’s books and transform them into an entertaining movie for fans both old and new (abundance of CGI notwithstanding). It would appear that Warner Bros. and Hasbro agree, as the studios are reportedly eyeing Goosebumps director Rob Letterman to take on their risky Dungeons and Dragons project.
For those of you who aren't quite up to speed on the specifics of D&D settings and characters, here's what you need to know: Ravenloft, originally published in 1990, is a realm of gothic horror, a misty, vaguely Bavarian dimension ruled over by the Draculesque Strahd von Zarovich. Minsc, who first appeared in 1998's Baldur's Gate video game, is a good-hearted berserker with a pet miniature giant space hamster named Boo.
When IDW relaunches Dungeons & Dragons this April, Jim Zub and Nelson Daniel are slamming those two concepts into each other, and hijinx, one assumes, will ensue. To set the stage, I spoke to Zub --- who returns to Minsc's adventures after last year's Legends of Baldur's Gate --- about what this spooky new setting means for the character and his adventures!
Dungeons & Dragons has been the world's most popular roleplaying game for over forty years now, and yet, in all that time, there has never been an officially published adventure featuring an entire dungeon made of Gelatinous Cubes. It's unbelievable, I know --- they are literally cubes, you could easily use them as building blocks to create an entire underground complex that was itself a shimmering, jiggling, nearly invisible acidic nightmare, and it's never happened. But now, at long last, it can.
While DungeonMasters have been writing their own adventures for as long as there have been adventures to write, this week saw the launch of the Dungeon Master's Guild, a new program that will allow anyone to publish their adventures through official channels. And what's more, you can actually do it using Wizards of the Coast's Forgotten Realms setting.
Tom Fowler is one of the best artists going and has been for a very long time, but as much as I've enjoyed his work in comics, my favorite project he's done is unquestionably D&D&D. Originally posted on Tumblr, it's a series of sketches inspired by his exploits in a Dungeons & Dragons campaign, full of monsters, broadswords, and frequently naked giants charging into battle.
Now, Fowler's collecting those sketches into a 100-page hardcover art book, and he's funding the project with a Kickstarter campaign that you're probably going to want to be a part of.
This week's Humble Book Bundle is built around Dungeons & Dragons comics, and while there are a whole lot of comics in there, I'm going to go ahead and guess that whether or not you're going to enjoy a lot of them depends entirely on how you feel about Drizzt Do'Urden, most noble of the dark elves of Menzoberranzan and the twin scimitars that he uses to battle the evil of Faerûn alongside his astral panther Guenhwyvar. If that's your jam, well, you don't need any more convincing to get over there and check it out.
If it's not, well, you still need to get over there and check it out, because you can pay whatever the heck you want for John Rogers and Andrea DiVito's 2011 run on Dungeons & Dragons, one of the best fantasy comics of all time.
I think we can all agree that the best comics are cheap comics, which is why I always keep an eye on Comixology's sales page to see if there are any good deals to be had. This week, they've announced a pretty big sale on IDW's Dungeons & Dragons comics, including all three collections of John Rogers and Andrea Di Vito's run from 2011 for five bucks each, and seriously? If you don't already have them, you need to get those immediately.
Dungeons & Dragons wasn't just a great licensed comic and it wasn't just a great fantasy comic, it was legitimately one of the best comics on the stands, period, and a pretty stellar example of the increasingly popular "group of adventurers inadvertently cause everything around them to explode in increasingly terrible ways" genre.
Jack Chick's Dark Dungeons is one of my favorite comics of all time. Originally released in 1984 at the height of the "Satanic Panic" surrounding Dungeons & Dragons and its (completely imaginary) link to devil worship, actual real-life magic and human sacrifice, it told the story of a young woman who got trapped in the sordid, wicked world of roleplaying games, a world fraught with suicide, murder and spellcasting. It is hilarious.
But, as is the case with every one of Jack Chick's fundamentalist Christian comics, it is also 100% sincere. And now, as revealed by Wired, there's going to be an equally sincere live-action adaptation from Zombie Orpheus Entertainment, officially becoming ComicsAlliance's most anticipated comic book movie of 2014.
I've rolled a few twenty-sided dice in my time, so believe me when I tell you that I know the crucial elements of a successful dungeon crawl. You need heroes, obviously, and monsters are always good (in the event that your players have threatened you with physical violence if you just put them in another gigantic room full of deathtraps), and you obviously need a dungeon to contain all this hero versus monster combat.
And, as artist Sean Poppe is sure to point out with his gallery, you also need nachos. Lots and lots of nachos. Check below to see his incredible D&D-inspired art and a recipe for delicious tortilla-based snacks below!
Over a lifetime of reading comics, Senior Writer Chris Sims has developed an inexhaustible arsenal of facts and opinions. That's why each and every week, we turn to you to put his comics culture knowledge to the test as he responds to your reader questions -- and as Halloween approaches, we make those questions spoooooky...