Despite its reputation as something that its players take very seriously and often get obsessed with --- occasionally to the point of falling in with actual demons and casting a mind-bondage spell on your father to get the latest manuals --- Dungeons & Dragons tends to flourish when it embraces its silliness. I mean, even at its most dire, even when the fate of the multiverse is in the balance, it's still the same game that brought you that most fearsome product of magic gone mad, the Owlbear.
Unfortunately, the fiction that goes along with it doesn't always have the same kind of jokes that you get when you're rolling dice around the table. That's why I appreciated "Catspaw," a four-part story from 1989's Advanced Dungeons & Dragons comic, in which the cast of hearty adventurers falls all over themselves and screws up constantly as they try to recover a mystical artifact known as... The Moonpenguin.
Lion Forge Comics may have had the best New York Comic Con out of all the publishers in attendance, as the up-and-coming publisher unveiled a host of good news about its growth and expansion for the next year. In addition to the news that it has acquired Magnetic Press and will publish titles under the new imprint known as Magnetic Collection, Lion Forge also announced the formation of new imprints focused on young readers and superhero stories.
Between them, writer John Ostrander and artist Jan Duursema have done some amazing comics work. Ostrander is best known as the creator of Suicide Squad and co-creator of Oracle with his late wife Kim Yale; Duursema has artist and writer credits ranging from Sgt.. Rock to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. Together, they've worked on a Hawkman series, the old Star Wars Expanded Universe, and more besides.
Now they've teaming up again and have turned to Kickstarter to fund original graphic novel Hexer Dusk, a 72-page full color book written by Ostrander from an idea by Duursema, illustrated by Duursema. The book is in the final stretch of its campaign, but there's still time to get on board.
I don't know about you, but when I play Dungeons & Dragons, I'm looking for a very specific kind of quest. Storytelling and character development are nice, but really, at the end of the day, I want an epic that's full of magic swords, dragons, and a threat so huge that it puts an entire kingdom --- maybe even an entire world --- in the kind of dire peril that can only be thwarted by stout-hearted heroes who aren't above lying about their dice rolls when they need to. In other words, I need something that's a little more intense than helping some dude recover from being cursed with tiny little baby hands.
But apparently, that is exactly what the gaming community wanted back in 1988, when Advanced Dungeons & Dragons devoted the entirety of its opening arc to one character's harrowing recovery from having his hands shrunk, a tragedy that drove him to drink, caused him to lose faith in his gods, and gave us lots of truly hilarious panels where he holds normal-sized objects that suddenly look huge.
Barbara Gordon's Oracle identity will return in April, at least temporarily, with Gail Simone and Jan Duursema as the creative team for a new two-part storyline that teams her up with her sometime lover Dick Grayson in Convergence: Nightwing/Oracle. The series is part of DC's big spring event storyline that brings back several fan-favorite characters, including Cassandra Cain, Renee Montoya and, uh, Parallax --- but Nightwing and Oracle's return is probably one of the ones that fans are most excited for.
We spoke to Gail Simone to learn where this new story finds the pairing, to ask why Nightwing is so hot, and to learn how she was basically baited into writing the series by DC’s co-publisher!
With this year's pleasant weather increasingly in the rearview, Nike has tapped comic talents Amanda Conner (Power Girl) and Jan Duursema (Star Wars) to illustrate the benefits of its Women's Training Holiday 2011 collection...
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