Comic Review

Comic Review: Critical Role: Vox Machina, Origins


Story: Matthew Colville & Matthew Mercer
Script: Matthew Colville
Art: Olivia Samson
Layout: Chris Kawagawa
Colors & Lettering: Chris Northrop
Color Assistants: Travis Ames & Cassie Anderson

Vox Machina Vol 1


I loved it.

If you’ve been paying attention, you probably caught me mentioning Dungeons and Dragons and/or Critical Role. I was a huge fan of the original campaign, so when I heard there would be a (beautiful) graphic novel released that recounts the original adventures of the group that will become Vox Machina, I was thrilled.

A quick (or maybe not) overview for those who somehow missed me talking about it, or someone else talking about, or those huge billboards that were up in Los Angeles (maybe still up) and it’s a strange world we live in when “a bunch of nerdy ass voice actors” live streaming their D&D campaign gets advertised like that. Umm… what was I talking about? Oh, right, Critical Role is Matthew MercerLaura Bailey, Taliesin Jaffe, Sam Riegel, Travis Willingham, Liam O’ Brian , Marisha Ray, and Ashley Johnson. Matthew is their Dungeon Master, and he’s that particular brand of unassuming evil that only nonthreatening, finely boned people can pull off. It’s all fun and games until it’s not, then you’re failing your saving throws and your life is over. The rest of them are (respectively) a ranger, gunslinger, bard, barbarian, rogue, druid and paladin. You might not think you know the above list of names, but just click through and you may very well be surprised. Liam even does commercials for cat food and he’s Illidan Stormrage in World of Warcraft (You know, “You are not prepared! I’ve got Gul’dan’s skull! Why did you come here anyway?”)

Oooops, getting distracted.

Much of the early campaign took place off camera, so we missed out on how this group of strange, poorly adjusted, angst-ridden adventurers met, which is a shame because Vax was even more stabby back then.

And you thought that wasn’t possible…

Continue reading “Comic Review: Critical Role: Vox Machina, Origins”

Comic Review

Comic Review: Descender, by Jeff Lemire


Volume 1: Tin Stars

In a world where our grasp of space and robotics-based technology is rapidly accelerating, where a robot has been granted citizenry and an international gateway is planned for the moon, stories that blur the line between what we know is human and what we perceive as such become more and more relevant. Tales that bring to the forefront questions about humanity, what defines it, what defines us. When we fail to treat other beings with the respect and dignity we ourselves feel we deserve, do we relinquish some of our own morality? If we create something with the ability to empathize, to sympathize, are we wrong to not recognize those emotions as valid?

I adored this first volume of Descender; it’s one of those books that you want everyone to read while also never allowing your own copy out of your possession. Emotional, intelligent, well written, and beautifully brought to life, it’s not hard to fall in love….

Continue reading “Comic Review: Descender, by Jeff Lemire”

Comic Review

Comic Review: Monstress Volume 1 & 2 by Marjorie Liu

Have you heard about Montress yet? The gorgeous and dark graphic novel written by Marjorie Liu and illustrated by Sana Takeda? Originally published by Image Comics in November of 2015, it is an ongoing saga set in a world ravaged by war and prejudice, with an almost exclusively female cast.

Monstress- darkly wondrous, as swift and violent as the cutting blade, as shadowed and uncertain as a storm at sea. Richly illustrated, intelligently written and a pleasure to read and study, these comics have a lot to offer, and there is much to take away.


At the start of our narrative we are introduced to Maika as she is sold into slavery. She is full of anger and resentment for a world that has left her with nothing, not even both her hands. But it is not just her story, for as it unfolds we are shown the world from multiple angles, witnessing the intrigue, politics, and festering hate that fuels the warring factions…

Continue reading “Comic Review: Monstress Volume 1 & 2 by Marjorie Liu”

Comic Review

Comic Review: Rat Queens Volume #1 by Kurtis Wiebe

The first time I heard about Rat Queens was through Critical Role, a Thursday night Twitch program where a group of (incredibly accomplished and delightfully dorky) voice actors play Dungeons and Dragons. I used to be more of a comic book fan in my junior high and high school years, but that fell to the wayside as the writers I loved stopped producing as many works in that medium. But in the last twelve years there has been such an advance in the industry that I’m excited to return and see where the journey takes me.

Written by Kurtis J. Wiebe, the initial run of prints emerged in September 2013 after being picked up by Image Comics. You can feel the heavy influence of D&D throughout ever fight scene, and there are many. The artist for this run was Roc Upchurch, a man who was later replaced after charges of domestic violence arose. On that sour note, let the review begin!

Rat Queens Volume 1 resting upon my disaster of a bookcase.

Continue reading “Comic Review: Rat Queens Volume #1 by Kurtis Wiebe”