The Adventure Zone
Welcome to the Adventure Zone!SEE! The illustrated exploits of three lovable dummies set loose in a classic fantasy adventure!READ! Their journey from small-time bodyguards to world-class artifact hunters!MARVEL! At the sheer metafictional chutzpah of a graphic novel based on a story created in a podcast where three dudes and their dad play a tabletop role playing game in real time!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 ("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.With endearingly off-kilter storytelling from master goofballs Clint McElroy and the McElroy brothers, and vivid, adorable art by Carey Pietsch, The Adventure Zone: Here There be Gerblins is the comics equivalent of role-playing in your friend's basement at 2am, eating Cheetos and laughing your ass off as she rolls critical failure after critical failure.

The Adventure Zone Details

TitleThe Adventure Zone
Author
ReleaseJul 17th, 2018
PublisherFirst Second
ISBN-139781250153708
Rating
GenreFantasy, Sequential Art, Graphic Novels, Comics, Fiction, Graphic Novels Comics

The Adventure Zone Review

  • Patrick
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a big fan of The Adventure Zone podcast. So when the McElroys asked me if I wanted to write an introduction for the upcoming comic book adaptation, I gave an enthusiastic hell yes.I just re-read my Advance Reader Copy of the book, and rather than ramble on here, I'm going to print that introduction in its entirety, so you can see how I really feel about the book:* * *When it comes to the Adventure Zone, and the McElroys as a whole, I'll admit that I've been late to the game.My friends have a I'm a big fan of The Adventure Zone podcast. So when the McElroys asked me if I wanted to write an introduction for the upcoming comic book adaptation, I gave an enthusiastic hell yes.I just re-read my Advance Reader Copy of the book, and rather than ramble on here, I'm going to print that introduction in its entirety, so you can see how I really feel about the book:* * *When it comes to the Adventure Zone, and the McElroys as a whole, I'll admit that I've been late to the game.My friends have adored them for years. But I'm stubborn, so it wasn't until November of 2016 that I finally caved to peer pressure and began sampling their unique flavor of artisanal auditory delectation. I listened to an episode of My Brother My Brother and Me, and the McElroys hit my life like a new religion. Within two months, I'd listened to over 250 episodes of MBMBaM. And I would have made it through the entirety of their archive shortly thereafter…… but then I discovered the Adventure Zone. If learning about MBMBAM was like a religious conversion. The Adventure Zone was like suddenly falling in love. Plus getting hit by lightning. Plus coffee. Plus hugging Lin-Manuel Miranda while eating an ice cream sundae. Okay. I'm not doing a good job of this. Let me start again.For those of you who may not know, I'm a fantasy author. My books have been translated into 35 languages and sell millions of copies all over the world. I mention this not to brag, but because it's the easiest way to prove I know a little bit about stories. I story for a living. I'm pretty good at it.So let me say, honestly and sincerely, that The Adventure Zone is some of the finest storytelling I have ever experienced. In any genre. Ever.I also know a little bit about role playing. I've played D&D since 1982. Worked my way through every edition. (Except 4th). These days I play D&D in packed stadiums with Acquisitions Incorporated. I guest star in with Critical Role. I've visited the D&D offices, and we're currently working on some secrety collaborations together.With that in mind, I'd like to say that The McElroys have done something with D&D I have never seen before. They've done something I didn't know it was possible to do. They've made something magical, and loving, and kind, and beautiful. The world is better because this story is in it. I've listened to the entirety of The Adventure Zone more than three times over the last eight months. I'm not just a fan, I'm a missionary. I'm a zealot. I'm not saying I'm working on my Merle cosplay or anything…. But yeah. Fine. I'll admit it, I'm working on my cosplay. What you hold in your hands is a brave experiment. An attempt to translate pure audio improvisational storytelling into a visual medium. I've done some work in comics, and I can't think of a harder transition for a story to make. And I adore what they've done here. Not just in the reflected light of my affection for the Adventure Zone podcast, but as an entity distinct unto itself. I already know the story, but there are surprises here. I know what's going to happen, but I love seeing these good good boys beginning their marvelous adventure all over again.
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  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    1. I cannot believe I snagged an ARC of this. Thanks, Macmillian. Honestly. I'm !!!!2. ALL RIGHT, GUYS, HERE WE GO: It's absolutely, 100%, exactly everything you always wanted.Carey Pietsch did an absolutely MAGNIFICENT job with the character designs. And the environment designs. And literally everything, to be honest. All of the artwork is stunning. It's hard to translate something purely auditory into a visual medium, especially something so beloved that has millions of different people imagin 1. I cannot believe I snagged an ARC of this. Thanks, Macmillian. Honestly. I'm !!!!2. ALL RIGHT, GUYS, HERE WE GO: It's absolutely, 100%, exactly everything you always wanted.Carey Pietsch did an absolutely MAGNIFICENT job with the character designs. And the environment designs. And literally everything, to be honest. All of the artwork is stunning. It's hard to translate something purely auditory into a visual medium, especially something so beloved that has millions of different people imagining millions of different versions of Griffin's descriptions. But Pietsch manages to synthesize an amalgam of ideas into images that are instantly recognizable. Even if it's not exactly what you or I imagined when listening to the podcast, everything and everyone is somehow exactly what I expected. Magic Brian in particular. Guys, Magic Brian looks EXACTLY how Magic Brian sounds. It's vonderful, darlings. The facial expressions in particular are so spectacular I had a few moments where I just had to stop and stare at the panels for a few seconds like, damn. It's not an exact word-for-word transcription of the podcast, but there are enough of the exact jokes and phrases and descriptions in there that it feels like it's a word-for-word transcription. There's nothing missing. Any catchphrases you were worried about? Don't be. They're there. Any of Griffin's wacky descriptions? He pops up and gives them. Merle's Kenny Chesney jokes? Worry not. It's cleaned up a bit, polished and shiny, a little sleeker and more streamlined, but it's still everything that everyone loves so much about the podcast: irreverent, hilarious, with that backbone of absolutely brilliant storytelling that you can't ignore, and the characters that are lovable and disgusting and wonderful, terrible people that we all know and love. I can't stop smiling about this book. It's beautiful and funny and heartfelt. It's everything I love about The Adventure Zone, bound up in a book like a hug. I can't wait for everyone to get to read it in July. It's going to be so worth the wait. It's going to be brilliant. It IS brilliant. So even if you think you're good out here, please rush into it. Zone of truth here: you won't regret it. I promise.
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  • Epizeuxis
    January 1, 1970
    I would gladly take a bullet for any of my good, good McElroy boys, so pre-ordering their graphic novel seemed like the least I could do. Especially when I cry over this silly podcast on a regular basis now.
  • j
    January 1, 1970
    It's really quite remarkable how they've been able to translate the feel of the podcast into a comic. Really well done. I truly hope all of the campaigns are adapted.(And, oh, the foreshadowing! The pathos!)
  • Aaron Gertler
    January 1, 1970
    For now, reviewing the book as a way of reviewing the podcast, which is a five-star piece of audio storytelling just as compelling as any book I've ever read. Listen to the first episode, and you'll find yourself laughing a lot/crying a little over the next few weeks.
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  • Red
    January 1, 1970
    I love this family, I love this show; I don't know what reading this would be like if you didn't listen to the podcast, but I L.O.V.E. it.
  • Charlotte
    January 1, 1970
    Full disclosure: Merle has cast Zone of Truth, so this review is unreservedly honest.If you are anything like me, you're coming to this book with years of feverish McElroy sycophancy under the belt, many of which have been spent urgently foisting The Adventure Zone and My Brother, My Brother and Me upon poor unsuspecting friends. (The Donald Duck impressions bit is my go-to introductory bit.) But whether you're a superfan or a newcomer looking to dip your toes in, I can say with full confidence Full disclosure: Merle has cast Zone of Truth, so this review is unreservedly honest.If you are anything like me, you're coming to this book with years of feverish McElroy sycophancy under the belt, many of which have been spent urgently foisting The Adventure Zone and My Brother, My Brother and Me upon poor unsuspecting friends. (The Donald Duck impressions bit is my go-to introductory bit.) But whether you're a superfan or a newcomer looking to dip your toes in, I can say with full confidence that Here There Be Gerblins perfectly captures everything that makes McElboy content the wonderful, wonderful stuff that it is- the warmth and kindness, the zaniness and perpetual yes-and-ing of it all are just as present here as they are in the original TAZ podcast. Let's just be honest: those first few episodes were a little rough. The jokes took a while to settle, and the flow of the narrative was a bit wonky at first. In Here There Be Gerblins, Clint has tidily spliced out the most egregious of the inappropriate dick jokes and all of the lengthy diversions into the minutiae of combat rules, while providing just the right amount of exposition and capturing all the best moments from the show. Carey's art style is perfectly suited to the story being told here - it is vivid and bursting with character, and she has a special knack for nailing Taako's expressions. Reading this comic brought back all the excitement of my first listen through the Balance Arc. I closed the book with a full heart and a giant grin, so thankful for the incredible story that I'm now getting to experience all over again. Tres Horny Boys are just getting started, and I couldn't be happier to be along for the ride. It's gonna be amazing.
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  • San
    January 1, 1970
    the BEST thing to receive in the mail!!! still marvelling at how well done this is, holy cow. loving the art to bits, the expressions on each page kept giving me so much life that now I'm probably immortal
  • Kathinka
    January 1, 1970
    i love it so much im genuinely considering buying a second copy
  • Demi
    January 1, 1970
    This adaptation turned out great—I’m thrilled. I’m especially appreciative of the fact that each joke felt like it deserved to be in print, and not like you were missing something by not listening to the podcast. Good job, McElboys.
  • R.J.
    January 1, 1970
    I think it needs more of a framing device to be accessible to non-listeners of the podcast from which it originates, but the McElroys' hands might be a bit tied on how much they can refer to Dungeons & Dragons, and also it's probably not a problem because there are hordes of non-non-listeners who will be delighted by this. Personally, I will pleased forever that Carey Pietsch, who contributed so much to both the fandom and like, the actual "text" of the show itself, is now officially a co-cr I think it needs more of a framing device to be accessible to non-listeners of the podcast from which it originates, but the McElroys' hands might be a bit tied on how much they can refer to Dungeons & Dragons, and also it's probably not a problem because there are hordes of non-non-listeners who will be delighted by this. Personally, I will pleased forever that Carey Pietsch, who contributed so much to both the fandom and like, the actual "text" of the show itself, is now officially a co-creator on this new interpretation of the narrative. Her art is perfect for the ever-shifting tone of this story. The charm of the characters definitely comes through in this adaptation and the magical big-ness of this story lands in the last chapter in a really pleasing way.Great job 👋👋
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  • hannah (faerystories)
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a long time fan of the McElroys, and so I was super-excited to learn that they were adapting the first arc into a graphic novel. It was so wonderful! The writing was spot-on, and the art was gorgeous. I loved all of the little details (bonus points for Peepum's Nasty Gum).All of the foreshadowing was perfect, and broke my heart a little. Also: KILLIAN!!!I'm very excited for adaption of the next arc!
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  • Jessica Dwyer
    January 1, 1970
    Oh it feels so good to be back in the world of these good good boys. Experiencing the beginning of this story in its alternate format was simultaneously full of nostalgia and an entirely new experience. I laughed outloud at my favorite one-liners, and also encountered new-found clarity in the storytelling.
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  • Noah
    January 1, 1970
    I loved the podcast, and I love the graphic novel. 10/10 would read again.
  • Emi Roze
    January 1, 1970
    It was like listening to The Adventure Zone for the first time again, except with my eyes. Carey Pietsch did an incredible job with the art!
  • Trin
    January 1, 1970
    Doesn't quite capture the experience of listening to it, and I'm honestly not sure how clearly it would read to someone who hasn't listened, but as a supplement to the original podcast, it gave me a lot of warm fuzzy feelings of getting to hang out with a gang I love, back at the very beginning.
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  • Ally
    January 1, 1970
    The Adventure Zone by Clint McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Justin McElroy, Travis McElroy and Carey Pietsch, follows the adventures of three very different individuals who are trying to complete a simple mission, but get dragged into a much larger adventure. Tako — an elvish wizard with a prideful personality, Magnus Burnsides — a human fighter that is pretty much the human version of a golden retriever, and Merle Highchurch — a dwarve cleric who seems to get the bad end of the stick. All they wanted The Adventure Zone by Clint McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Justin McElroy, Travis McElroy and Carey Pietsch, follows the adventures of three very different individuals who are trying to complete a simple mission, but get dragged into a much larger adventure. Tako — an elvish wizard with a prideful personality, Magnus Burnsides — a human fighter that is pretty much the human version of a golden retriever, and Merle Highchurch — a dwarve cleric who seems to get the bad end of the stick. All they wanted to do, was rescue Merle’s cousin and get paid. Obviously, it became much more than that.This beautifully illustrated comic book is an adaption to a Dungeon’s and Dragons podcast with the same name, that has a large fanbase emotionally invested in the journey of these three boys (Much like me and Critical Role — another D&D campaign available online).As someone who went into the comic book story blind and with very little knowledge of the podcast I was immediately captivated by the characters personalities and their interactions with each other. Pietsch’s illustrations are beautiful and simple. Her cartoon art style truly matches the general gist of what “The Adventure Zone” is; goofy characters making poor and silly decisions while trying not to die.You will laugh, you will gasp, you will hold your breath, but most importantly you will want to go on your own adventure.
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  • Shane
    January 1, 1970
    Seriously fantastic. I was worried about reading this since I've already heard it in the podcast. It didn't take long for this book to change my mind.The artwork is beautiful. It's completely different from how I pictured it in my head, but it still stays true to the story and it's pretty enough I might even prefer it to my head-canon version. I still had plenty of laugh out loud moments too. It is mainly the same jokes from the podcast, but the way they're portrayed makes them just as funny. I Seriously fantastic. I was worried about reading this since I've already heard it in the podcast. It didn't take long for this book to change my mind.The artwork is beautiful. It's completely different from how I pictured it in my head, but it still stays true to the story and it's pretty enough I might even prefer it to my head-canon version. I still had plenty of laugh out loud moments too. It is mainly the same jokes from the podcast, but the way they're portrayed makes them just as funny. I think this book is perfect. I really love how Pietsch imagined the The Adventure Zone universe. I don't think it could have been translated over any better. Good job guys. You bet I'll be reading the next one.
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  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you so much to Macmillan for sending me this advanced copy! I'm not even sure where to start with reviewing this because I just love it a lot. Even if you've never heard of The Adventure Zone podcast, I still recommend this. If you are a fan of The Adventure Zone already, you need to go in knowing that everyone is going interpret an audio-only podcast differently. Some things are different, obviously, there's not as much room for bants when you're trying to build a shrunk down, linear plot Thank you so much to Macmillan for sending me this advanced copy! I'm not even sure where to start with reviewing this because I just love it a lot. Even if you've never heard of The Adventure Zone podcast, I still recommend this. If you are a fan of The Adventure Zone already, you need to go in knowing that everyone is going interpret an audio-only podcast differently. Some things are different, obviously, there's not as much room for bants when you're trying to build a shrunk down, linear plot for a graphic novel. But as we know from listening to the podcast, the team worked super closely with the McElroys to make the best possible graphic novel they could. The character designs were super well done too (and they even put some fan art in the back, which I loved! I don't think they could've fully gotten the final designs with out the fan art being around for so long). I laughed out loud so much, there were still bants and jokes, and I recognized stuff from the podcast, even though it's been I while since I've listened to this first arc. So if you don't already know The Adventure Zone is a Dungeons and Dragons podcast created by the McElroy brothers, featuring their dad. Now, they don't exactly follow the D&D rule book to a T, for entertainment and podcast reasons, but it's super fun! So this is the graphic novel version. I think knowing this will definitely help going into it, when Griffin pops up saying he's the dungeon master, but I think casual people at the bookstore picking this up will catch on pretty quickly. 5/5 stars, can't wait for this to officially come out!
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  • Carol
    January 1, 1970
    can't wait to read about dem sweet sweet adventure boys(I love this podcast with my whole heart) (I love a lot of things with my whole heart) (it's ok though because they are all worthy of the love of my whole heart)
  • Ashley
    January 1, 1970
    4 Stars A fun and entertaining version of the Adventure Zone! It's also a great place for those who've never heard the podcast to jump on.What I liked: The ART!! Oh man, the artist absolutely nailed this. The characters, the mood, and the spirit of the story are all there in spades. I also adored the facial expressions. They were perfect. Clint did a fabulous job adapting the podcast material to written format. It's missing a few things that I did like in the podcast, but everything left out was 4 Stars A fun and entertaining version of the Adventure Zone! It's also a great place for those who've never heard the podcast to jump on.What I liked: The ART!! Oh man, the artist absolutely nailed this. The characters, the mood, and the spirit of the story are all there in spades. I also adored the facial expressions. They were perfect. Clint did a fabulous job adapting the podcast material to written format. It's missing a few things that I did like in the podcast, but everything left out was understandable. Also, nothing important was dropped. The characters shine strong, even in this first story arc. Their jokes, quips, and chemistry land well and had me laughing out loud a few times. What I didn't like: Honestly...the name changes. I know, they needed to change a few things in the start since those names technically belong to D&D. It's just more of a bummer than anything. Hm, a few of my favorite jokes and scenes were cut or modified. Pretty much all were understandable and not plot important, so can't really be mad.Overall, I loved this! I can't wait for the next one.
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  • Kales
    January 1, 1970
    Okay, I'm sorry but I am completely biased on this book. I love the podcast. I am obsessed and I'm not going to lie, this book would have had to be terrible for me to rate it anything lower than 5 stars. But, you know what, it was also a well-made, beautiful book.Casey's art was on point. I feel like I have to go back and listen and now picture the characters looking as she designed them. My favorite is when Griffin pops in along the frame and gives his snarky commentary. I also loved how the to Okay, I'm sorry but I am completely biased on this book. I love the podcast. I am obsessed and I'm not going to lie, this book would have had to be terrible for me to rate it anything lower than 5 stars. But, you know what, it was also a well-made, beautiful book.Casey's art was on point. I feel like I have to go back and listen and now picture the characters looking as she designed them. My favorite is when Griffin pops in along the frame and gives his snarky commentary. I also loved how the tone of the podcast stayed the same. You could hear the McElroy's in each line, even if it wasn't direct from the podcast. But I'm not going to lie, those are few and far between. I am honestly so excited to continue to get the installments of the rest of this adventure. It will be a collection I love and treasure. It also might be one of the first things I use to get people to listen to the podcast. It's great. Can't wait for the rest of the story in this medium.Conclusion: Keep and treasure
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  • Erin Scott
    January 1, 1970
    Carey pietsch's artwork is incredibly well suited to the tone of the story. Her expressions are solid and her use of colors is really dynamic. A lot of great details are thrown in for fans who are familiar with the Podcast but it remains an easy to read and fun adventure for a new or casual fan. Additional jokes mean we aren't just rehashing the podcast again but getting a little more humor that suits each character along the way.Even someone having not listened to the podcast can pick this book Carey pietsch's artwork is incredibly well suited to the tone of the story. Her expressions are solid and her use of colors is really dynamic. A lot of great details are thrown in for fans who are familiar with the Podcast but it remains an easy to read and fun adventure for a new or casual fan. Additional jokes mean we aren't just rehashing the podcast again but getting a little more humor that suits each character along the way.Even someone having not listened to the podcast can pick this book up and enjoy the humor and d&d adventure style. There may be questions at the end of the book to be resolved in the future (as any great story in a series should prompt) but it's worth the belly full of laughter to pick up and try. Looking forward to future installations in the series!
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    It’s everything I could’ve hoped for. Faithful to the original, visually powerful, well-written, beautifully illustrated, and packed with silliness. Spend plenty of time on each page- Carey Pietsch has snuck in so many amazing details you don’t want to miss. I could hear the boys as I read it in addition, but the characters also gained new, autonomous definition in this new medium. I’m already highly emotional about it. Can’t wait for the next one... guess I’ve got some re-reading and re-listeni It’s everything I could’ve hoped for. Faithful to the original, visually powerful, well-written, beautifully illustrated, and packed with silliness. Spend plenty of time on each page- Carey Pietsch has snuck in so many amazing details you don’t want to miss. I could hear the boys as I read it in addition, but the characters also gained new, autonomous definition in this new medium. I’m already highly emotional about it. Can’t wait for the next one... guess I’ve got some re-reading and re-listening to do in the mean-time!
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  • Evangeline
    January 1, 1970
    I cannot begin to imagine how difficult it was to translate a D&D podcast into a graphic novel — especially the rocky first arc of the podcast before they found their narrative footing. What has come out of that process is extremely sweet and fun, and quite well executed. I'm not sure how it would read to someone who hasn't listened to the podcast; even for me, having not listened to that arc in some time, there were some awkward narrative jumps and gaps. But who cares? It's a beautiful phys I cannot begin to imagine how difficult it was to translate a D&D podcast into a graphic novel — especially the rocky first arc of the podcast before they found their narrative footing. What has come out of that process is extremely sweet and fun, and quite well executed. I'm not sure how it would read to someone who hasn't listened to the podcast; even for me, having not listened to that arc in some time, there were some awkward narrative jumps and gaps. But who cares? It's a beautiful physical artifact of a podcast I love, and it allows me to hang out a little longer with these characters I hold so dear.
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  • Smote
    January 1, 1970
    An absolutely thrilling retelling of the first campaign of The Adventure Zone: Balance podcast! These good good boys and their companions did an incredible job translating a audio format to a physical medium like this, keeping the core elements of the story while refreshing others making this version still new and captivating for anyone who has already listened. This is also an amazing way for those who don't care for podcasts to get in on TAZ!
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  • Diana
    January 1, 1970
    It’s just perfect. I love seeing their stories come to life like this so much that I’m tempted to buy another copy just for loaning out purposes. I want everyone to experience the beauty that is the Adventure Zone! The art itself is spectacular, so full of expressions and life and just capturing the characters to the their likeness. I could hear their voices!! Plus of course DM Griffin is just. So cute.
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  • Hannah Geller
    January 1, 1970
    Very good way to introduce friends who don't like podcasts to the podcast that has taken over your life for the past couple months. The dialogue: inspiring. Every single character design: like being wrapped in a warm hug. Taako's V-shaped mouths: made me wanna cry tears of joy. Carey and Killian just looking at each other: filled me with delight.
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  • Isabelle Yourick
    January 1, 1970
    WHY IS EVERYTHING THEY PRODUCE JUST SO AMAZING?! Unbelievably beautiful artwork and storytelling. Definitely got a bit thrown by the name changes, but I totally get why they had to change them. Long live Klaarg though, I miss him. Also I absolutely cried when I saw that the next arc is coming soon. I am dreaming of Crystal Kingdom already!!
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  • Kaili
    January 1, 1970
    As a fan of The Adventure Zone podcast, I already know and love these characters and this story, so my review is biased. That being said, I loved this. I love the art style, and how this has been translated into a visual format. I am so excited for the rest of the series!
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