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Critically Rolled

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So yesterday was the release of the 4th issue of the comic book and tonight is the 3rd episode of the new campaign of Critical Role podcast. In recent times we have gotten from Matt Mercer the "Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting" and the class "Blood Hunter." Add to that the complete run of the first Vox Machina series ... that is a HELL of a lot of content. While the campaign book is nicely put together, it seems what should be just the first in a series. Still it is worth the price as parts to mine and place in a homebrew game. The Blood Hunter looks interesting enough to give a try as a NPC in the new campaign my group is about to start. The new game play is interesting as we get to see character and the dynamics that are always involved develop. Something we didn't get on the last series as we were presented with fully defined characters. While I am sure that to most of you this is old news. And while we are on issue 4 of the comic book ... it's that which I would like to talk about ...

First the obvious ... The subject matter is Vox Machina ... DUH! But this series begins before the game play done on the podcast. So if you are a fan (or if you prefer Critter) to get a backstory is very satisfying. The comic is written by DM and YouTuber Matthew Colville and (SURPRISE!!!) Matt Mercer with input from Liam O'Brien and the occasional line from the other cast members. Artwork is handled by Olivia Sampson and Chris Northrop with the recent addition of Chris Kawagiwa as layout.

I feel that so far this team has really captured both the characters and spirit of the live campaign, making this an excellent transition to a new medium. If this is a fair example of Mr. Colville's writing prowis ... I am very interested in checking out his two books (available on Amazon). The art does a great job of character creation and world design. As they find their footing there is a good blend of comic book and Dungeons and Dragons game play. I particularly like the one scene where they intercut an old school battle map to ground us in the fact this all really is ... after all ... just a game.

My two complaints are that: One ... some of the earlier issues the composition seems a little crowded and has a bad use of space. This however is moving in a better direction with the addition of Chris Kawaiwa's layouts. Apparently Matt Colville was writing scenes rather than drawing as he is a writer and not a visual artist. Secondly, at this point ... the comics are only available DIGITALLY. I for one, while enjoying Dark Horse's pan and fade transitions, prefer a hard copy. There is some discussion that the colors are more vibrant on a monitor screen ... I guess I an old school and like holding the tactile page in my hands. There is rumor of a collection that will eventually be made into a hard copy.

"Critical Role Vox Machina Origins" is monthly comic ... that has been most timely on their publication ... is published by Dark Horse Comics. It has a 6 issue run and are currently available on the Dark Horse site as well as Comixology.

The bottom line is that at the end of each issue I want more ... and look forward to the next issue and that would be the best recommendation offered. And on top of that, I think I will ... borrow ... the basic plot line ... and use it as an adventure.

So if you like Critical Role and comic books ... this was made for you. Enjoy!

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