Jun 8, 2015

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 104: Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #7, June 1989


A raging battle against a re-animated giant skeleton with flame breath, ice breath, and a withering gaze through the streets of a medieval fantasy city, aided by guardsmen on winged hippogriff steeds.

That's the summary of this issue, and an awesome issue it is. The twist of the jesters using jokes as the components of a spell is made even more interesting by the fact that the punchlines to the jokes are the counterspells. I'm not sure if this is taken from the Jester NPC class that appeared many years ago in Dragon magazine, or if it's Mishkin's idea, but it's a cool one.

I've not commented much on the inking of the comics I've looked at, and that's because the inkers, amongst others, are unsung heroes of comic books. This issue replaces Kim DeMulder on inks with Joe Statema, and it's amazing the difference one can see. Statema inserts far more detailed line work that DeMulder, giving the characters a more realistic cast. Neither style is better than the other, and both bring something to the feel of the comic, though switching part way through a storyline is a dodgy gambit, if you ask me. Especially since this is a relatively light-hearted tale, it seems to me that DeMulder's more iconic work (as opposed to realistic work) functions more appropriately. Perhaps a grittier tale would benefit more atmospherically from Statema's work. I'm not sure if it's a permanent replacement or just for this particular issue, but the adoption of a more realist inking mode could work well for the series. What will be interesting is to see if the inking really has that much of an affect on the feel of the comic.

We'll finish up "The Spirit of Myrrth" tomorrow, and then move on to something else. I'll be continuing the AD&D series eventually, once I've procured the next storyline, but tomorrow we'll look to the next section of the collection, which I believe is an indie series from the eighties called The Adventurers, a grimmer take on the fantasy party quest model. It'll make an interesting contrast. See you tomorrow.

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